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Widespread Panic Honors Michael Houser on Night One in Atlanta August 11, 2022 19:01

Words by Monica Dean

Photos by Craig Baird: Home Team Photography

“It’s our music”  It comes from us, I don’t know anything else to say but that.  We do it because it’s all we can do, pretty much”Michael Houser

Widespread Panic celebrated the life of Michael Houser last night at the Fox Theater in Atlanta, Georgia on the 20th anniversary of the founding guitarist's death from pancreatic cancer. Audio from Houser’s interview with Billy Bob Thornton on the film “Live at the Georgia Theatre” played before the band took the stage.  Balloons, traditionally staged overhead for New Years Eve, fell during the chorus of “Porch Song” to open the show.

After making sure everyone knew this celebration was about having a good time, John Bell, guitar/vocals, turned the key to start a  rowdy “Love Tractor”.  The crowd responded with an equally energetic few minutes of cheering and popping balloons.  Paul Hoffman, Lighting Designer, did a beautiful job bringing the lights down low for “Little Lilly”.  Jimmy Herring, guitarist, swam upstream in the dirtiest river for “Proving Ground.”  The first set came to a close with “Papa’s Home”.

“Mercy” opened up the second set for the first time ever.  Dave Schools, bassist, teased “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” at the end of “Mercy” before giving a little cough cough into Black Sabbath’s “Sweet Leaf”. The four Disco balls suspended from the Fox Theatre’s ceiling, usually to celebrate New Year’s Eve, were brilliantly lit for “Vacation”.  As Bell sang “As panic grabbed my legs, you know it, pulled me in” the impact of Houser’s music was felt by fans.  “Ain't Life Grand”, a Houser song about finding turning everyday life into something special, closed the second set.

The band returned for a three song encore with “Don't Want to Lose You”  For the first time since 2017, “Galleon” was played before “Fishwater” with mini drums to end a show of all Houser era songs.  As the band walked off stage, the audio track “Waiting for the Wind to Blow Down the Tree in My Back Yard”, a hidden track from the album, “Ain’t Life Grand”, played as a last, but not final, tribute to Houser.

Widespread Panic will finish a four night run at the Fox Theatre before heading out West to Napa, California on August 26.

 


Deebs Days Countdown: An Interview with Marcus White of The Shady Recruits August 3, 2022 14:18

Photo by Donna Winchester

Interview by Jordan Kirkland: Live & Listen

As most music fans in and around the Birmingham area are already aware, CBDB and Big Friendly Productions have joined forces to bring an incredible new festival to Avondale Brewing Company this summer. Deebs Days Music Festival is pinned for Friday, August 19th and Saturday, August 20th in Birmingham (AL), and all signs point to an incredible celebration. If you haven't gotten around to purchasing your weekend passes, we've got you covered. Simply click the link below and secure your spot while you still can. 
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As we prepare for the festival, we're catching up with a handful of the performers on the lineup. This week, we're continuing the official "Deebs Days Countdown" with Marcus White, keyboard + synth wizard for The Shady Recruits. Marcus has an extensive history touring with bands such as Soul MechanicVoodoo Visionary, and KillaKeyz Band. This latest project features multiple members of The Marcus King Band and has quickly become a favorite amongst festivals across the country. 
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You'll find The Shady Recruits performing at Avondale Brewing Company for Deebs Days in just over two weeks, and they certainly seem ready to leave their mark on Birmingham. Check out the full interview with Marcus below, and make sure to follow The Talismen on Facebook and Instagram for all of the latest updates.
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Click Here: Purchase Your Deebs Days Tickets Today!

Great to speak with you for a few today, Marcus. We're here to talk about The Shady Recruits, but I know you've had quite the journey up to this point. Tell me about how you got started as a musician? 

Marcus: I started playing drums at church when I was nine. Then, around age twelve, I started playing guitar and keys too. This was still at church. My mom was playing piano at the time, and I thought I could do a better job. She said to give it a try, so I did. 

That's great man. And how did this ultimately lead you to your band mates in The Shady Recruits?

Marcus: I just kept playing and ended up winning a scholarship to a small school in Cleveland, TN. From there, I went on tour with a gospel group called EJM. When that was over, I moved back to Chattanooga and linked up with an up-and-coming band called Soul Mechanic.

This promoter in North Carolina named Ryan Williams, who we did gigs with previously, wanted us to do this show for him. We did that one and ended up getting a call to open up for The Marcus King Band. We became really good friends and the rest is history.

This seems is a super group, in a sense. Everyone involved has quite a few projects to balance, including multiple guys on tour with Marcus King Band. How do you go about scheduling for this band? How has the calendar shaped up so far this year? 

Marcus: Honestly, I have no idea. We really try to stick to planning out months in advance, communication, and being respectful of each others time. Like you said, half of the band is also on the road with Marcus King, so we have to plan accordingly. 

Just a few weeks ago, the Recruits released their first full-length album, Incognito. This follows your five-song EP, Shady, which released in March of 2020. Tell me about Incognito and how things have progressed since the first release  

Marcus: We are on tour right now. We had a great time at Peach Fest. The new album was produced by our good friend Marcus King. That has been huge in terms of building the audience. Super proud of the work we did on the album.

The Shady Recruits have grown accustomed to playing the major festival stages. One of the next up is Avondale Brewing Co. in Birmingham for CBDB's Deebs Days. Will this be the band's first play in Birmingham? What can those attending expect from you guys?

Marcus: Yeah man, this will be the band's first time in Birmingham, but certainly not my first. People can expect a lot of fun. It's gonna be a breath of fresh air. I think we bring something different and unique to this line up. We're known for having a lot of fun, and while we take each show very seriously, we don't take ourselves too seriously. 

Beyond this summer, how is the final quarter of 2022 looking for the band? What are you guys looking ahead to? Where is the focus as you guys look to the future?  

Marcus: The future is bright man. We're gonna start working on the next album. We're booking more gigs and traveling to new markets that we haven't played. Just trying to grow and keep this train moving.

Right on. Love to hear it. Thanks so much for your time today, Marcus. Look forward to seeing you in Birmingham in a few weeks.

Marcus: Can't wait man. Thank you!


Checking In With Runaway Gin's Andy Greenberg July 25, 2022 01:31

Photo by Cloud Bobby Productions

Interview by Jordan Kirkland: Live & Listen

The world's most active Phish tribute, Runaway Gin, has certainly proved they are worthy of that title in 2022. Over the past year, they have welcomed two new band members in Tim Khayat (bass) and Sean Bing (drums). One might think that could slow a band down by a step or two, but the Gin train hasn't missed a beat. Their Winter, Spring, and Summer tours have taken them from Jacksonville (FL) to New York City (NY) and just about everywhere in between.

Taking on the title of an official "tribute act" isn't a decision to take lightly. If you know anything about Phish, their wildly expansive catalog, the incredibly detailed compositions, and their focus on unique improvisation during every show, you know Runaway Gin has their hands full. Recreating what Trey, Mike, Page, and Fishman create on stage is a tall task (to say the least), yet Andy Greenberg and his bandmates continue to prove that they're more than up for the challenge.  

It wasn't long ago that Jennifer Reiser (keyboards) joined the band full time, and just as the group finding their new groove, they're introducing a brand new rhythm section. As Greenberg details in our conversation below, it's been an absolutely beautiful transition with Khayat and Bing in the mix. Just as the musical journey of Phish, Runaway Gin continues to evolve and push boundaries at every corner. 

Check out thew full interview with Andy below, and make sure to take note of RG's upcoming Fall Tour dates below. If you're anywhere near the Carolinas, you can still catch their Summer Tour closer at Bowstring Brewyard in Raleigh, NC on Thursday, July 28th. Whether you've seen a Gin show in the past or not, there are all kinds of exciting elements brewing as the band looks ahead to the second half of 2022!

You just reached the one year mark with the latest lineup of Runaway Gin. Tell me about how this year has gone? What have you taken away from this time with the lineup additions?
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Andy: It's been a really good year! We have very patiently and organically developed into a much more cohesive unit. Every run, and even show now, we seem to turn a corner in our musical conversation. We have focused on different aspects of the project methodically - from setlist composition, segues, improvisational strategies, interpersonal communication, existential aspects of the experience, band bonding, travel strategies, to great band dining experiences.
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We really have come a remarkably long way very quickly. I credit this to all of our collective experiences up to this point; converging and combining and us all being very open to communication of all kinds. I have been building bands since I was a teenager, and every time it seems to get a little bit easier. Organization and timing are so very important to all of this.
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I have learned a lot about my bandmates during this last year, which I really cherish and love, and I've also learned a lot about music from every member. I have also learned a lot about myself. Specifically about building boundaries, patience, being present and letting go. I have faced many challenges and certainly handled some better than others, but I am committed to learning from every aspect of the experience.
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With such a specific, complex catalog of songs with significant improvisational sections, what has the process been like when bringing in a new band member and getting them fully acquainted?
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Andy: It isn't easy, but also it isn't hard! If you can figure out the key points and how to communicate them clearly and succinctly, your work pretty much all gets done for you. Each person learns music differently, and each person learns to develop improv differently.
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The basic element is figure out how they learn; their speed and readiness in regards to each facet of the catalog. Figure out what someone likes and give them more of that. Figure out their strengths and showcase them. Figure out their weaknesses and address them methodically and rationally, while also hiding them.
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Each member has been vastly different to bring in based on their musical background. I try and establish a give and take where no one feels like they are being ordered around but rather feels like they are being heard and responded to in kind. It's a very delicate middle ground to find but it seems to be where the magic occurs.
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You've just released a lengthy fall tour which will take you to 14 different cities. What can the RG fan base expect from you guys at these upcoming shows?
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Andy: We've got the new 'Makisupa Police, Man' concept in, which we will take material by the Police and Sting and basically twist it, mash it, jam it, and explore it in the context of a Phish show. Not all shows will have the concept, but most of them, starting on September 24th at the Charleston Pour House, will.
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Keep in mind we will still be playing primary Phish material, and we don't know exactly what the setlists will look like. We will build it organically, like we have strived to so far in this configuration. I have a feeling we're going to be finding lots of interesting and novel spaces and challenging ourselves more than ever to be creative in the moment.
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The Phish catalog is obviously ever evolving, with no shortage of new material surfacing each year. How often is the band adding new tunes to the catalog? What does this process look like for RG?
 
Andy: Phish is an extremely prolific band. They have constantly challenged themselves and each other from the beginning. We strive to do that too. For me, it's part of the tribute. Phish seems to add about 2-3 albums worth of material each year these days, and it is a lot to keep up even as a fan. As a band, we are not even attempting to keep up by adding songs as quickly as possible.
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For us, we are trying to honor the spirit behind Phish but not follow directly behind them because we are not them. We have different strengths, weaknesses, and tastes so it doesn't really make sense to try to copy theirs over our own. In terms of adding songs, we are constantly working on new material. We just added 3 new songs last weekend: 'Foam', 'Knuckle Bone Broth Avenue', and 'Meat'.
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We added another one too but we haven't actually played it live yet so I won't mention what it is. Each new song we add is adding a new dimension to our band.A new set of parameters, rhythms, and sonic landscapes to couple with the ones we have already explored collectively and individually.
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That being the case it's good for us to take it a little slow and to let each song marinate and incubate and subsequently digest and become a part of us as a collective.I am really excited to see how each song colors us differently and greatly enjoy this process.
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Even with a full-time job and touring with RG, you find the time to make it to a healthy dose of Phish shows each year. What are your general thoughts on the band here in the summer of 2022?
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Andy: I actually just finished streaming Mann night 1 and mannnnn! I just love the way the setlists keep evolving. I love the risks they take and the smoothness of interplay. It's a completely different show than they played in 2013 and even more different from 1999 and so on and so forth. The band is pure fluid movement. The musical themes, the lyrical themes, the jam styles, the new songs, and sonic possibilities.
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It's a tweaker's paradise and I am definitely a tweaker. It's impossible to even imagine anyone having as big of an influence on me musically than Phish has. While I love so many other bands, the essence of Phish just lights a spark in me that makes me feel like anything is possible. It sure is an amazing time to be a phan!
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You've got that right. Well, thanks so much for your time today, Andy. It's always a pleasure, and I look forward to seeing you out there soon.
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Andy: Likewise, my friend. Thank you Jordan!
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Deebs Days Countdown: An Interview with Jack Bennett of The Talismen July 21, 2022 14:46

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Photo by Craig Baird: Home Team Photography
Interview by Jordan Kirkland: Live & Listen
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As most music fans in and around the Birmingham area are already aware, CBDB and Big Friendly Productions have joined forces to bring an incredible new festival to Avondale Brewing Company this summer. Deebs Days Music Festival is pinned for Friday, August 19th and Saturday, August 20th in Birmingham (AL), and all signs point to an incredible celebration. If you haven't gotten around to purchasing your weekend passes, we've got you covered. Simply click the link below and secure your spot while you still can. 
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As we prepare for the festival, we're catching up with a handful of the performers on the lineup. This week, we're continuing the official "Deebs Days Countdown" with Jack Bennettlead guitarist of The Talismen. Since the band's formation in their teenage years, Bennett and his bandmates have continued to make major strides as a mainstay in their respective scene. They released their debut album, Jar Full of Something, in March of 2019. The album has since since gained 800,000+ plus stream on Spotify. Additional releases include the four-song EP, Extra Vehicular Activity, and a full length live album titled Live From The Bunker. Each has played a vital role in showcasing a variety of elements that these young jam wizards bring to the table. 
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The band has seen a busy year thus far; building their audience all across the southeast. Many will recall previous festival plays at CukoRakko Music FestivalSliceFest, Woodlands Music Festival, and Mountain Music Festival. This list continues to grow, as they look ahead to The Big What? and Resonance Music & Arts Festival over the next few months. 
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You'll find The Talismen performing at Birmingham's Avondale Brewing Company for Deebs Days in just a few weeks, and they couldn't be more excited about this play. Check out the full interview with Jack below, and make sure to follow The Talismen on Facebook and Instagram for all of the latest updates.
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Great to sit down and chat today, Jack. I figured we could start by talking about your musical background. How did you get started as a musician? How did this ultimately lead you to your bandmates?

Jack: Let's see. It was pretty early on in grade school. I picked up drums first. I was playing a lot of punk rock stuff. A lot of Travis Barker stuff. I think that got a little too loud for my parents, so I ended up picking up guitar around 4th or 5th grade. I didn't ever learn any traditional scales or anything like that. I would bring songs to an instructor in the back of Capitol Music in Montgomery. This was mostly rock and punk rock stuff with signature riffs. 

It was around 9th grade that I became really close with our drummer, George Norrell. We really hit it off quick. We vibe with a lot of the same musical influences. I think the band started in 10th grade, when our keyboardist, Jack Wagstaff, moved from Birmingham to Montgomery. We all went on spring break that year, where we really connected with our bassist, Jack Anderson, who was two years ahead of us in school. We ended up forming The Talismen shortly after.

We started as 7-piece band; with our friends Jack Barganier on bass, Camp Spain on guitar, Jud Blount on guitar, and the four of us still playing today. Yes, there were originally four Jacks!

Jack Anderson was actually playing acoustic guitar and singing at the point. We started gigging around Montgomery, playing some local events, and setting a nice foundation by the time we finished high school. 

Fast forward to 2018, and we had evolved into a four-piece with Jack Anderson on bass and vocals. It was around then that we linked up our manager and focused our sights on more expansive gigging. It's really been onward and upward from there. 

That's a pretty unique story to have started the band so young. What have been some of the highlights for The Talismen since that pivotal time in 2018?

Jack: Oh man. Definitely JingleBall in Montgomery back in December 2019. We opened for a supergroup formed by Kevin Scott. They were performing Talking Heads' Stop Making Sense, and Jennifer Hartswick was also on the bill. She was kind enough to sit in with us. We closed out set with Janis Joplin's "Piece of My Heart," and she was just incredible.

We had our first real festival play that year as well. We played Umphrey's McGee's Woodlands Festival in Charleston. It's been great to connect with some amazing bands along the way. We've really enjoyed building relationships with groups like Big Something, CBDB, and Funk You.

We also recorded our first album at Technical Earth Recorders in Montgomery at the end of 2018. Robert Shimp was incredible to work with. It can a little intimidating getting into a recording studio for the first time, but he made the process so much fun. We're really grateful for him and the opportunity to record Jar Full of Something in our hometown. 

We later connected with our friend Kevin Scott, who was kind enough to get us into a private studio in Roswell. This was right after JingleBall in December of 2019. We recorded a four-song EP, Extra Vehicular Activity, with he and Jason Kingsland. That second experience gave us an even better idea of what we wanted to achieve. We still left and felt like we had a lot to learn, but it was such a valuable experience.

Kevin has a long history with guys like Col. Bruce Hampton, Jimmy Herring, and John McLaughlin...just to name a few. Jason has recorded and produced bands like Band of Horses, Perpetual Groove, and a bunch of others. We're just really grateful for that experience in studio with them.  

Click Here: Watch The Talismen with Jennifer Hartswick of Trey Anastasio Band

Photo by Craig Baird: Home Team Photography

I would imagine so. Where would you say the focus on recording and studio time has been since then? Y'all have been recording and producing some of your own material recently, correct?

Jack: That's right. We did end up releasing a live album during the pandemic though. Big Friendly Productions put on an amazing live stream series to help bands like us when touring wasn't an option. We were so happy with the recordings that we decided to pick a handful of our favorite tracks and release them as Live From The Bunker later on in 2020. 

But yes, I moved into a house a few years ago which allowed us to setup a really ideal rehearsal and recording space. We've since recorded and released two singles, "Savage Road" and "Lockwood," and we're just about done with what will be our third single of 2022. We'll have much more news on that one here soon.

Very cool. I know there will be plenty of fans excited to hear that news. Y'all have been hitting the road pretty hard here in 2022. What have been some of the highlights, and what has the band learned from life on the road?

Jack: We've learned a lot from touring. It seems to be picking up and getting better each year. Some of the highlights this year have been playing Mountain Music Festival in West Virginia. We played our first true theatre gig with Big Something at The Bijou in Knoxville. We did a three-night run with Papadosio back in April, and that was a big opportunity to get in front of their fans.

More recently, we did a Panic afterparty in Huntsville and a Phish pre-party in Gulf Shores on the same weekend. We even got to catch a few nights of the Phish that weekend, which was a big plus. We don't get to go out and see as many shows as we would like to these days. 

There is definitely a lot of work to be done off the road, but being on the road and seeing the progress we have made has instilled a lot of confidence in ourselves. This past year has really taught us a lot about what it takes to be successful in this industry. Networking with bands, selling merch, and making sure you don't run out of gas (laughs). It's easy to think that getting on stage and playing is the most important thing, but talking to your fans, networking, and building relationships is equally important. 

Photo by Nicholas McElroy: Nicholas Jude Photography

That's a fact. It's great to hear that you guys have made so much progression this year. What's on the horizon for the band? You guys have some big gigs coming up, right?

Jack: Absolutely. Several big festivals coming up. We're super excited to be playing Big Something's festival, The Big What?, in Virginia in a few weeks. Like I said earlier, we're big fans of that band, and we can't say enough nice things about them. Then we have CBDB's festival, Deebs Days, later in August. Those guys have been really good us over the years, and we really look up to them. That's also a big hometown show for us, now that we're all living in Birmingham. They put together an amazing lineup, and we are looking forward to meeting and seeing all of those bands perform. 

We head back to The Charleston Woodlands for Resonance Music & Arts Festival in mid-September. That's going to be a full circle moment, being at the same location as our first big festival play back in 2019. It's pretty humbling to be on the same lineup with bands like Goose, Umphrey's McGee, SunSquabi, Papadosio, Pigeons Playing Ping Pong, and so many more. The lineup is just stacked. 

I'd say there is plenty of excitement ahead for you guys. I'm glad that you mentioned Deebs Days. For those who might be attending the festival and catching their first Talismen show, what would you say that they can expect?

Jack: High-energy rock and roll with some crazy jams. Like most of our peer bands, we pride ourselves on playing a totally unique show every time we step on stage. We've been working hard and planning a few special surprises for this one. This will definitely be a Talismen set to remember. 

That's what I like to hear. Well before we wrap this up, where would say that the focus of the band will be from this point forward? What's in store for the future of The Talismen?

Jack: We're definitely focusing on more touring and writing, recording, and releasing new music. We really want to continue to connect and work with other bands around us. That has been really valuable for us, and building our network will only make us stronger. You can expect us to release a few more singles by the end of the year. We'll be looking to record another full-length album at some point in 2023. 

Right on. Well, I appreciate your time today, Jack. Look forward to seeing you guys play again at Deebs Days in just a few weeks.

Jack: We can't wait. Thank you Jordan!

Video by Nicholas Jude Photography

Photo by Craig Baird: Home Team Photography


Deebs Days Countdown: An Interview with The Mountain Grass Unit July 15, 2022 08:43

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Interview by Jordan Kirkland: Live & Listen
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As most music fans in and around the Birmingham area are already aware, CBDB and Big Friendly Productions have joined forces to bring an incredible new festival to Avondale Brewing Company this summer. Deebs Days Music Festival is pinned for Friday, August 19th and Saturday, August 20th in Birmingham (AL), and all signs point to an incredible celebration. If you haven't gotten around to purchasing your weekend passes, we've got you covered. Simply click the link below and secure your spot while you still can. 
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As we prepare for the festival, we're catching up with a handful of the performers on the lineup. This week, we continue with a mighty hot young act known as The Mountain Grass Unit. I first learned of these guys when a video of Drury Anderson (vocals / mandolin) was featured on Jerry Garcia's official Instagram page as a young teenager. It wasn't long after that Drury, Luke Black (acoustic guitar), and Sam Wilson (upright bass) became a hot topic around Birmingham. Now that all three have finished high school, the concept of doing this full time is fast approaching. 
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This summer has proven to be a vital time for the band. They're not only in the midst of their first real tour, but also preparing for their first, full-length album release. Places I've Been will released on all major streaming platforms on Monday, July 25th. If you're looking for a super helpful way to support the band, you can pre-order the album on iTunes as of Saturday, July 26th. This release marks their second time working in studio with Scott Vestal (banjo) of Sam Bush Band
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You can catch The Mountain Grass Unit at Deebs Days over the weekend of August 19th-20th. Stay tuned for future details and much more to come on this festival. Check out the full conversation with Drury, Luke, and Sam of The MGU below!
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Great to speak with you guys today. Let's start off with some general background info on the band. How did The Mountain Grass Unit get started in your early teenage years?

Drury: Well, Luke (Black) and I originally started playing fiddle tunes as kids. That went on for a while, and I think we tried more of an electric thing in 3rd or 4th grade. Luke picked up the electric guitar and getting into that. I was getting into the drums, and we tried that for a little while. Fast forward to 7th grade, and Sam (Wilson) comes up to me in gym class and says, "Uhh, hey man! I'm Sam. Luke asked me to be the bass player in y'all's rock band." 

Luke: Yeah, so we did that for a while. Sam got a bass from someone here in Birmingham.

Sam: Mr. Hurley let me borrow one. Luke taught me to play electric bass before that. I kind of taught myself how to play upright. I guess that was 8th or 9th grade?

Drury: I was in 7th grade, and y'all were in 8th grade. It was the next year that we started getting serious with bluegrass. Luke and I were both taking lessons from Allen Tolbert. Our first official gig was The Ted Talk. 

Sam: _TEDx__ Youth came through and did a thing at our middle school. They had us get up there and play three songs. I'd been playing upright for probably three days, at this point. If you search through the depths of YouTube, you can find a video of it. It's just terrible.

Luke: Yeah, it's pretty bad. It helped us start this group though. We actually had to sit down and practice for the gig. It was so bad. I was playing banjo without finger picks, which is just a crime in the bluegrass world. It definitely got us started though. After that gig, there was a little bit of buzz. We kept practicing and learning more songs. Then, we started adding Grateful Dead songs and other songs from our rock category. We were having a lot of fun.

So, would you say those lessons with Allen Tolbert really sent you guys down the bluegrass wormhole?

Luke: Yeah, for sure. Like Drury was saying earlier, I took banjo lessons from Herb Trotman around maybe 1st grade. He was taking mandolin lessons from Jason Bailey, so we had a little bit of the bluegrass drive. Then, I saw Allen Tolbert play at The Acoustic Cafe, and I said, "I want to play exactly like that." That's when the bluegrass drive started hitting me. Drury started taking lessons from him around that time as well. Allen definitely influenced us a ton. 

Drury: A ton. It was a cool time, because Allen is a little more traditional with bluegrass. While we were playing traditional bluegrass tunes, from guys like Tony Rice and David Grisman, we were also discovering people like Billy Strings. People who played those traditional tunes, but also got jammy with it...and played Dead. I've always loved The Dead. Luke and Sam have as well.

It was around that point that we realized "jam grass" was the way to go. That was really where it picked up. This was right around the time that The Talismen asked us to open up for them at WorkPlay Theatre. I think that was December of 2019. 

That's right. Crazy to think that was almost three years ago. There was also a gig with Sam Bush Band at WorkPlay, right?

Luke: Yeah, that one was really interesting. Drury and I had a marching band show that night. We played a pretty big role in this show. We had to go up to our band director and explain to him that we had an opportunity to open for Sam Bush, which was obviously a pretty big deal at this point. It was a bit of an ordeal, but he agreed to it. 

Drury: He let us do it, and then we pulled it again for a Billy Strings show (laughs). That was a really cool day though. 

Sam: It really was. We had only played a handful of gigs as a trio at that point. 

One of the guys from Sam's band ended up sitting in with y'all, right?

Drury: That's right. Scott Vestal is Sam's banjo player. 

Luke: We love Scott. He helped us record both our EP and our album coming out (on July 25th, 2022). We just ended up hanging out with him a bunch. He's such a nice guy.

Drury: He's super cool. When he's recording with us, it's all about us, which is really nice of him. When he picks up a banjo though, he will tear it apart. Scott is a monster player. 

I'd say that conversation with your marching band director ended up paying off quite well for y'all. 

Drury: Let's just say that I'll remember the Sam Bush show, and not the night I missed the marching band show (laughs). I think I can just put marching band behind me at that point. 

Sam: I remember thinking, "If y'all don't get out of this marching band show, I'm gonna lose my mind. We have to play this show!" (laughs

Photo by Thomas Diasio

You mentioned that things started picking up towards the end of 2019. Perfect timing for the events of 2020, right? I can imagine how challenging the COVID shutdown was, both as high school students and an up-and-coming band. How did y'all go about accepting this reality and putting your energy in the right place to keep things moving forward?

Drury: It was definitely unfortunate, because things were picking up in January of 2020. We had a regular spot over at Basil Pizza. Playing there a few times a month. The word is getting out around down. COVID hits and just screws it all completely. We had a few meetings and decided to just try and write, initially. 

We did have an opportunity to do a few live streams on The Music Never Stopped Facebook page. That actually made us some chump change, so that was a big plus. Steve Masterson helps us open up some opportunities for outdoor gigs. It all worked out though. Most of the songs on our upcoming album were written during that time in 2020.

I'm sure the opportunity to play those streams on that type of platform, with a pretty significant built-in audience, ended up being huge for exposure. Followers of that page are really the perfect target demographic. I'm sure a lot of people outside of Alabama are still following y'all because of those streams.

Drury: Absolutely. That's really the name of the game, man. Luke's been really hammering down on our social media. I've always tried to be pretty active on Instagram and YouTube. What's cool about this community is that there are a lot of people out there who are willing to sit down, watch your videos online, and provide solid feedback on what they like about it. 

Sam: It's been interesting as we've been traveling more this summer. We've had more gigs outside of Alabama. We were recently in Atlanta and Nashville. People would come up and mention that they watched us on those streams. It's pretty amazing to hear that and meet these people from all over. 

Those interactions really go a long way. So, y'all released your first EP last year. I know there is a new album on the horizon. What has it been like getting in the studio and bringing your songs to life?

Luke: It was really fun the first time, because it was our first studio experience. We were so dialed into these three songs of ours. I feel like we probably put too much thought into it all. 

Drury: That's exactly what I was going to say. 

Sam: We definitely did. 

Luke: This time at Scott's, we went in there and did them pretty raw. Only a few takes on a each track. I feel like it sounds more like us. 

Sam: I think it sounds more like our live show. 

Drury: It does sound more live. 

Luke: We've been working on some of these songs for 3-4 years. Some are a little newer, but many have been brewing for a long time. 

Drury: One of them was originally an instrumental called "Paradise," but we've since added vocals. So yeah, that one is probably about four years old now. 

Sam: It's pretty cool to look back at songs like that one. It's really changed and evolved into something new. 

Have the final touches been put on the album? When can people expect to see and hear the release?

Sam: We're done on our end. It will be released on July 25th.

Oh wow! I didn't realize that. Release day is right around the corner. 

Drury: Oh yeah. It's coming up, and it will be available for preorder on iTunes on July 16th. We ended up with 8 originals on this one. We're really going to be pushing the pre-orders. We'll take as many as we can get. 

Right on. I know this summer has been big for y'all. You're getting to hit a bunch of new cities and venues. What have you guys learned about life on the road thus far?

Drury: Well, we're really glad to be such good friends. That really helps things. It's been so fun. It kind of feels like we're just messing around and making some money. 

Sam: It doesn't even feel like a job, really. It feels like a vacation with some shows here and there. 

Luke: It's been a blast. We've had a few all-nighters already. We're learning how to handle those scenarios. Pulling out of one town at 3AM and pulling into the next one as the sun is rising.

I'm sure. These are some truly crucial times for y'all. You're laying a foundation and learning the ropes of running a professional, touring band. Sometimes those load outs are mighty late into the night, and the drive ahead can still be brutal.

Drury: For sure. We've been really fortunate to work with some really great venue owners and buyers. A lot of people who have been really good to us. Everyone has been super kind. 

Luke: Absolutely. It really means a lot to work with such great people. Hearing that someone has been waiting for so long to see us play. It honestly means a lot.

Drury: It really does, especially when you're playing in a totally new place. We've never been to some of these cities before. The kindness we've seen makes us feel like we fit in, and we're welcome there. 

I'm sure the positive feedback makes the world of difference. There may be lighter crowds on random nights, but when you are treated with such kindness, it really goes a long way.

Let's talk a little bit more about CBDB's upcoming festival at Avondale Brewery in August. Deebs Days is giving The Mountain Grass Unit a nice taste of the festival life early on. What are y'all's thoughts on being a part of this lineup?

Sam: Personally, I'm really excited to play alongside all of these other bands. Can't wait to see The Talismen again. It's been a year or so since our last show with them. Really excited to see those guys again. 

Drury: The entire lineup is just really exciting.

Luke: It's going to be really great to meet and hang out with the other performers. There are so many great bands playing. I can't wait to watch it all go down. 

Sam: I mention The Talismen, because they really helped us crack into the jam band world. They've had us open several shows and been really kind to us. We're excited to build more relationships like that. 

Drury: For sure. I credit them for getting us into the jam band scene. We haven't really been playing at festivals of this capacity yet. It's exciting to be on a lineup with guys like Daniel Donato, Sicard Hollow, and CBDB: people we've been watching on social media over the years. Those are musicians that we really look up to. It's great to see a progression of what we're able to do. I hope we can bring something really special and unique to the table. 

Absolutely. Every band that you've seen out there has been in this position. Breaking in to the festival circuit and having some big opportunities. Soak it all in, and of course do your thing on stage. I think it's safe to say there will be many more down the road.

Drury: It's going to be awesome. It's exciting to think about what could come out of this experience. I know we all hope to make some great connections and start some solid new relationships. Hopefully, this can lead to some other festival appearances. 

That's right. You guys are way ahead of the pack already. You're fresh out of high school, but you've already built a solid fan base. Y'all are building the band's resume, and doing so will continue to open all kinds of doors.

Drury: I really hope so. That's definitely the goal. It's great timing with the album coming out. We will have a month or so to get the word out. Just enough time to promote those tunes. 

Well before we wrap this up, I wanted to make sure that we've covered all of our bases. You guys have quite a few more summer dates. You have the album release and Deebs Days coming up. Anything else that the band is fired up about?

Drury: We're going to carry on our dates through the summer. Obviously, school is a little bit of a speed bump. I'll be joining Luke at Berklee in Boston, while Sam is in Tuscaloosa. Luke and I will be playing up there a bunch. We will continue to have band meetings to make sure things are on the right track. We'll have a bunch of zoom calls. We plan to have some gigs booked for when we're all back in Birmingham over the holidays too. 

That's the right attitude. Just keep doing what you're doing. This band has a lot of people's attention already. It sure feels like you guys are on the fast track to doing some really special things. You guys know how unique of a thing this is. Set goals, communicate, and stay the course. There's no telling how far you guys can take The Mountain Grass Unit. 

Drury: We really appreciate that, Jordan. We are just taking it one step at a time. Figuring out what is the next best move for us. I'm hoping that we can just capitalize on the progress we've made and keep the momentum going. If we can do that, I’m confident that it can really go somewhere. We just have to keep putting the work in. 

Photos by Jean Longuil Frank


Deebs Days Countdown: An Interview with Daniel Donato July 6, 2022 15:58

 

Photo by Annelise Loughead

Interview by Jordan Kirkland: Live & Listen

As most music fans in and around the Birmingham area are already aware, CBDB and Big Friendly Productions have joined forces to bring an incredible new festival to Avondale Brewing Company this summer. Deebs Days Music Festival is pinned for Friday, August 19th and Saturday, August 20th in Birmingham (AL), and all signs point to an incredible celebration. If you haven't gotten around to purchasing your weekend passes, we've got you covered. Simply click the link below and secure your spot while you still can. 
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As we prepare for the festival, we're catching up with a handful of the performers on the lineup. This week, we're continuing the official "Deebs Days Countdown" with rising "Cosmic Country" star Daniel Donato. This guy has seen a tremendous amount of success over the past few years, and as soon as you hear his incredibly unique sound, you'll know why. Donato began his career as a teenager cutting his teeth at the famous Robert's Western World in Nashville, and he's done nothing but climb the ranks since then. 
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Fresh off of a huge weekend at The Peach Festival, which included guest appearances with Pigeons Playing Ping Pong, Kitchen Dwellers, and Eggy, Donato is on pace to carry this tremendous momentum across his summer tour. Many may have seen his debut performance at Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival last month (see pro-shot video below), and you certainly will not want to miss his set at Deebs Days at Avondale Brewing Company in Birmingham. Check out the interview below, and make sure to follow Daniel Donato on Facebook and Instagram for all of the latest updates.
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Great to speak with you today, Daniel. You’ve been grinding your way through the Nashville music scene since your teenage years. Tell me a little bit about how this journey began for you. 
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Daniel: I started busking at 14, and then I discovered the Don Kelley Band at Robert’s Western World. I saw them every weekend for 3 years, and then got in the band. I played 464 shows with them; 4 hours a day, 4 days a week.
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Was there a particular moment when you really felt that things began to take off? When did you realize that this could be a full-time career? 
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Daniel:  Just as a tree grows, it is an organic and incremental process; the emergence of a form born from passion and nature takes time. The first time I ever played on stage, my intuition urged me to dedicate my life to this craft. 
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You seem to have coined the phrase "cosmic country" when it comes to your sound. Tell me about this concept and where it came from. 
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Daniel:  It’s a Yin and Yang concept. Cosmic is explorative and danceable. Country is enchanting and classic. These are the things we all love and seek within music. A homeless wiseman who used to hang out behind Robert’s called my sound “Cosmic Country,” and I simply loved it. It’s a whole philosophy towards existence, not just music, but then again, what’s the difference between those two?
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You released a series of singles leading up to your debut EP, Starlight, back in 2019. You've since released two full length albums, A Young Man's Country (2020) and Cosmic Country & Western Sounds (2021). What stands out the most when looking back on these experiences, both in your writing and recording process?
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Daniel: How much I’ve grown and emerged since these recordings’ release is a wonder to behold. I can’t wait for the next record.
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While Nashville's always been such a special place for "country music," there really seems to be a bit of a revolution underway these past few years. What are your thoughts on the current state of affairs? 
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Daniel: Magic happens in pockets of time and tight knit geographic places. Everyone who is selling out amphitheaters and arenas in my scene, I have at one point seen play for $5 to no one on a Tuesday night. Patience, persistence and positivity lead the way down this no simple highway.
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You'll be bringing your signature "cosmic country" sound to Deebs Days Music Festival in Birmingham on August 19th-20th. What can those in attendance expect from you and the band?
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Daniel: Cosmic Country delivers a celebratory experience through exploration of modern and traditional genres with danceable rhythms, enchanting Melodies, and inclusive songs.
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Before we wrap this up, I wanted to see if you could touch on some 2022 highlights. Looking back, what have been some of the high points thus far? What's on the horizon that has you and the band fired up?
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Daniel:  Headlining close to 100 shows so far, touring with the Kitchen Dwellers, playing Bonnaroo and chilling with Billy Strings, playing with damn near everyone at Peach Fest — all of these lead into one source — our connection with the music and the fans. This is all that matters when it is all said and done.
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Sicard Hollow Independently Releases New Single "Mighty Fine Day" June 30, 2022 11:47

Photos by Kendall McCargo Photography

Press Release via Sicard Hollow

Sicard Hollow Independently Releases New Single “Mighty Fine Day” June 30th, 2022

NASHVILLE, TN – Sicard Hollow is a four-piece progressive bluegrass band who formed with a mutual passion for pushing the boundaries of genre. Heavily influenced by the Grateful Dead and New Grass Revival, these young pickers bring new energy to a timeless style with a combination of fearless improvisation and instrumental prowess.

The band formed through mutual connections within the Nashville music scene who all wanted to play something different. They were all simultaneously discovering bluegrass while existing in their other scenes. Once they got together, the rest was history.

Having toured extensively around the country since 2018, this group of players continues to grow their sound with every performance. With the release of their debut studio album, ‘Secret of the Breeze’ (2020), a live album called ‘Live at Brooklyn Bowl Nashville’ (2021), and their upcoming sophomore studio effort, there is no slowing down for Sicard Hollow.

After the band finished recording their upcoming studio album, ‘Brightest of Days,’ they were frustrated to find out how long the post-production and marketing process was going to take and how long it would be before their fans could hear what they’ve been working on. After about a week of decompressing from a long week in the studio, “We wanted to head back in,” says Alex King, vocalist and guitar player for the band.

The result was three road-tested, crowd favorites finally getting the studio intention they deserved. The band opted for releasing them as singles over grouping them together on an EP in an effort to let the songs tell three separate stories before they’re grouped into a single project. Cover artist, Brandon Trammel, also tried to illustrate this idea by creating a separate image for each single that will eventually make up a triptych once all three singles are released.

The band released the first single, “Little Miss Tipsy,” at the beginning of June as they hit the road for their summer tour. “It’s a phat festival banger,” says Parrish Gabriel, bassist. The release was accompanied by a beer from New Heights Brewing Company (Nashville, TN) called, “Little Miss Tipsy,” which can still be found in liquor stores all over the Greater Nashville area.

Today the band released the next tune, “Mighty Fine Day,” which is a fun, upbeat, summer-time river anthem about getting all your buds together on anything you can find that floats and hitting the water. The band appropriately releases the lazy-river-themed jam in time for their return to The Peach Music Festival, which takes place at Montage Mountain Waterpark & Ski Resort in Scranton, PA on Sunday July 3rd, 2022.page2image8690624 page2image8685248 page2image8688896 page2image8695424 page2image8691200

“Mighty Fine Day'' is Available now on all major streaming platforms.

Personnel:
Alex King (Vocals/Guitar), Will Herrin (Vocals/Mandolin), Matt Rennick (Violin), Parrish Gabriel (Bass), Daniel Davis (Engineer), Evan Wilbur (Mastering), Brandon Trammel (Artwork), and Tim Coughlin (Executive Producer).

Recorded at The Studio Nashville in Nashville, TN.


Who Is Danger Wolf? Whit Murray & Stephen Taylor Discuss Latest Project June 28, 2022 00:24

Photo by Rebecca Adler Photography

Interview by Jordan Kirkland: Live & Listen

March of 2020 will forever be a time that evokes a wide range of emotions. Just as we all began to understand what was happening around the world, it all shut down in what felt like the blink of an eye. While the earliest stages of the COVID-19 era brought about so many trials and tribulations, it also served as an opportunity for many to press pause and focus their creative energy on in a different direction. 

Nashville-based musicians Whit Murray and Stephen Taylor are a perfect example. Long time friends from their days in Athens (GA), the two guitarists shared a mutual interest in writing music together, but the stars hadn't ever aligned just right. As you will read in the conversation below, the COVID shutdown paved the way for Whit and Stephen to do just that. 

The result is an exciting new project known as Danger Wolf. Fresh off the release of their debut, self-titled album, these two are riding high and already well on their way to a sophomore release. I had a chance to sit down with Whit and Stephen last week and hear the full story. After having the weekend to stream these tunes a handful of times, I can totally understand the excitement they both share. 

Danger Wolf features Whit and Stephen backed by a stellar cast of their peer musicians and former bandmates from past projects. You'll find multiple members of Moon Taxi, as well as long time collaborators from Los Colognes and Mama's Love rounding out these tracks. Check out the full conversation below and make sure to follow Danger Wolf on Facebook and Instagram for all of the latest news. 

Danger Wolf is a brand new project for both of you guys. I know that both of you have extensive histories in the music industry. Let's kick this off with a little background info on the two of y'all. 

Whit: I grew up playing in bands in Raleigh, NC and ended up in Athens, GA after college. That was a really special time to be there, because there were so many bands forming out of UGA. After Athens, I moved up to Boston and attended Berklee College of Music for 3 years. From there, I knew I wanted to settle back in the south, and Nashville seemed to be the perfect fit. In 2014, I reunited with Tom Galloway from the Mama’s Love days in Athens to form Maradeen, and we toured extensively 'til right before the pandemic. I’ve also been playing with a group of Chicago natives that are based here in Nashville (Los Colognes) since 2018. 

Stephen & I first met in Athens, GA when I was playing in Mama’s Love, and he was with Eddie & the Public Speakers. I want to say we were playing a show together at Tasty World in 2009(?), and then reconnected when we both moved to Nashville in 2014. We’re super fortunate that most of our friends here are all badass musicians. You almost forget until you’re all hanging out, look around the room, and realize that everyone there plays an instrument and most likely, we all met back in Athens in 2009. 

Stephen: I’m originally from Columbia, SC and when it was time to go to college, the music scene in Athens, GA was calling, so I headed to UGA and really immersed myself in the rock scene there. So much incredible music has come out of that town. I think that’s where I learned how to play in a band and write songs with people.  

Nashville was always the next step in my mind. Amazing music scene, and so much opportunity to find your place in the industry. I worked in the agency world for a while and then had a stint on the road working behind the scenes with bands like Snarky Puppy and Little Big Town. Eventually, I found my place working for Fender Guitars, which I still do today. I really couldn’t be more fortunate. I get to play in bands with some of my best pals (Drew Dixon, Tom Galloway, and now Danger Wolf) and work in the industry that I love. Life is good.

When did the idea for Danger Wolf come about, and what's the overall concept behind what y'all are looking to accomplish here?

Stephen: Whit and I quickly established ourselves as quarantine buddies in 2020.  We’d get together and hang on Friday nights, play cards and grill out. Eventually, we picked up a few guitars over at my place, and Whit had the riff to “Who’s to Blame”It was so rockin’. I think we wrote that one in a few hours and knocked out a demo.  We were just like, “Man, this is pretty great! Let’s write another one next week," and here we are.  So, in a lot of ways, this thing is a product of sheer boredom. Once we had a batch of songs and were talking about recording them, I think our intention was nothing more than to make a good record with our friends and have a lot of fun doing it. It’s pretty pure in that sense, and I know we both aim to keep it that way.

Whit: The styles of the songs are all very different, but the lyrics can’t help but convey a sense of restlessness from being shut off from the world like everyone was at the time. Once we had the first one finished, we thought, “All right, now we’ve got a 90’s sounding song. We should write an 80’s pop hit,” ("Less is More") or “now we need a swampy rocker” ("Nobody Home"). "We Make a Pretty Good Team" was the last one we wrote, because we knew we needed to have one feel-good, ballad-esque song on there. We were really happy that the entire EP had a really solid flow from start to finish. 

Photo by Rebecca Adler Photography

What can you share about these songs and what they mean to both of you?

Whit: It really captures the best of that era to me, where we both had so much free time. We might as well create something out of it. The notion of writing songs and playing music with your friends just for the sake of doing it, with no expectations or pressure attached, is what attracted all of us in the first place. It's probably why we’re all still trying to outdo what we’ve done previously. 

Stephen: It’s a thrill to put out original music. To make something that you’re proud of. That’s where it all starts for me. Whit and I have been friends for years, but this is the first time we’ve really played music together. I think we came into this thing with a great mutual respect for what each other brings to the table. As the songs developed, our strengths as individuals really became apparent. We would lean on them for certain things and get out of the way when needed. Also, both being lead guitar players, we had a lot of options under our fingers and were able to dip into some of those great Allman Brothers/Eagles-esqiw moments. It was lots of fun.  

This EP features a pretty killer cast of your peer Nashville musicians. Tell me about who we will hear as we listen through each tune?

Whit: The foundation for what became our sound is Tyler Ritter (Moon Taxi) & Gordon (Gordo) Persha (Los Colognes) playing off of each other. When we were rehearsing, and those two were playing the riff to “Who’s to Blame,” we all stood there in awe for a minute. We knew that this was going to be good. You’re only as strong as your rhythm section, and both of those guys are monsters with their instruments.

We were also super lucky to have Wes Bailey (Moon Taxi) playing with us who’s one of the best keyboardists in the game. He has the chops to be flashy, but is much more committed to serving the songs. We really wanted to write concise songs that had some solos but rocked just as hard without them. 

Big notable mentions are Amber Woodhouse who sang BGV’s and played saxophone on “We Make a Pretty Good Team.” She really brought that song to another level. Plus we had Tom Galloway (Mama's Love) and Dan Davis singing harmonies, and Ben Torbert (Mama’s Love) playing percussion. Lastly, we bought a 12-pack of beer and had our buddies Mills Waterhouse and Hank Bateman come in and add gang vocals to all of the choruses to really make them sound big. It such a blast. 

You had the opportunity to record at The Studio Nashville with producer Tom Tapley.  How did you link up with Tom, and what all did he bring to the table? Tell me about this studio, the recording process, and how valuable Tom’s expertise was to this EP. 

WhitTom’s actually a big reason this whole thing came together. He did the first Mama’s Love EP back in 2009, and we were dying to work with him again. Then last year in April 2021, we went down to Atlanta and spent a week recording with him at his place, West End Studios. Tom’s like the cool older brother who’s holding down the house while your parents are out of town. He’s probably the nicest, most fun, and positive person I’ve ever met. He really elevates you to play things you didn’t know you were capable of. Not to mention, a really hard worker and an absolute master of studio tricks and sounds. 

Stephen: Tom is such a vibe. He’s the biggest cheerleader in the room. When things are happening, he knows how to pull the best out of the moment. And when they’re not, he gets you right back on track. We wanted this thing to sound like a big rock record. Live and rowdy. We couldn’t have asked for a better guy to be at the helm. 

And I see Dan Davis engineered the record. This is a name I continue to hear, as so many amazing musicians are working with him. How did you link up with Dan?

Whit: Dan was a huge secret weapon on this project. He grew up singing harmonies with his brothers, and he is a master at knowing how songs are crafted, especially vocal phrasing. It seems like he’s worked on or currently working with all of our friends in the rock scene in Nashville. 

Put him and Tom together, you know that you’re going to have a ball and that these two are going to get you to your destination safely. You know that you’ll be a better musician after the experience. 

Stephen: Yeah, Dan is the man. He worked on all the Tom Galloway records with us. He has such a great ear and is a blast in the studio. Not to mention, he sings his ass off. It’s pretty awesome when your engineer can jump in on harmony vocals to bring it all together. 

Release day is always super exciting, especially when it involves the debut of a new project. Where does Dangerwolf go from here?

Stephen: It was too much fun making the first one. We’d be silly not to record a follow-up. We already have 5 or 6 tunes started. I’m sure we’ll continue to write until we land on a batch that feels like a cohesive project. Then it’s time to do it again, “Nothin’ to it, but to do it”, as my Dad says. 

Whit: Put this out, play an album release, and get back into the factory to write the next one. We would love to bring this group back together in 2023 for another round.

Stream Danger Wolf's Debut, Self-Titled Album Here:


Deebs Days Countdown: An Interview with Alex King of Sicard Hollow June 17, 2022 22:30

Photos by Kendall McCargo Photography

Interview by Jordan Kirkland: Live & Listen

As most music fans in and around the Birmingham area are already aware, CBDB and Big Friendly Productions have joined forces to bring an incredible new festival to Avondale Brewing Company this summer. Deebs Days Music Festival is pinned for Friday, August 19th and Saturday, August 20th in Birmingham (AL), and all signs point to an incredible celebration. If you haven't gotten around to purchasing your weekend passes, we've got you covered. Simply click the link below and secure your spot while you still can. 
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As we prepare for the festival, we're catching up with a handful of the performers on the lineup. This week, we're continuing the official "Deebs Days Countdown" with Sicard Hollow frontman Alex King. Since the formation of the Nashville-based, jam-grass quartet in 2018, King and his bandmates have quickly established themself as one of the premier rising acts in the country. Sicard released its debut album just before the pandemic struck in 2020, and they have wasted no time climbing through the ranks of the "festival scene." The band has built a strong national following in just a short time, and there is clearly so much more to come. 
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Many will recall Sicard Hollow from recent  performances at Resonance Music & Arts Festival, The Peach Festival, and Summer Camp Music Festival. They're no strangers to the big stage, and as King explains below, they couldn't be more fired up for Deebs Days. Check out the full interview below, and make sure to follow Sicard Hollow on Facebook and Instagram for all of the latest updates.
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Great to speak with you for a few today, Alex. From what I understand, Sicard Hollow got started back in 2018?
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Alex: Yeah man. I want to say May of 2018. 
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Right on. So, you guys have just passed the four-year mark. Before we dive into the band, I was hoping you could tell me a little bit about your musical background and how you found yourself in the world of bluegrass music. 
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Alex: It's an interesting story all around, because I wasn't raised on bluegrass at all. Neither was anyone in the band, for that matter. So, I'm from Birmingham, and I started playing guitar as a teenager. My parents bought me my first guitar when I was 14 or 15. I was taking lessons, but it wasn't anything serious. I never pursued it past playing a couple of chords. It just wasn't my thing. Skateboarding was my thing.
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So, fast forward to college. I went to Auburn University. Took a little bit of time off after my first year, and I found myself at Belmont University in Nashville. I was surrounded by a ton of amazing musicians, none of which played bluegrass. I didn't even know what bluegrass was at all, really. I knew what a banjo was, but I did not know the genre whatsoever. I had a guitar, and I started playing a little with people around Belmont. This was a little discouraging. These kids were freaks of nature on their instruments. It was super inspiring at the same time, because I saw what my peers were capable of. 
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I decided to step it up and start picking. I'm playing electric guitar, and I meet our mandolin player, Will Herrin. At the time, he had never played a mandolin in his entire life. He played electric guitar, and he tried to get me to jam over and over and over again. I was just too nervous to go do it. Eventually, we jammed and started hanging out a bit. I was writing songs on acoustic guitar in my free time. I wouldn't sing or play in front of anyone. 
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We ended up meeting Matt Rennick, who is our fiddle player. He was just incredible on the fiddle. We fit our genre around his instrument, because he was the best. I had these slower songs, and he could play fiddle really fast and intricately on them. The next thing we needed was a mandolin, so Will said "Screw it" and started learning mandolin. 
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Sicard Hollow was really born out of that. Trying to throw shit at the wall, for lack of a better term. We just ended up sticking with bluegrass. We all started to figure it out. Now, I've studied and gone down the hole with traditional, new grass, jam grass, and all of the above. Now I consider it a part of my soul, honestly. 
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You're right. That's a really interesting, and super cool, story. So this is back in 2018, and y'all are in Nashville. When did y'all really start to realize that this was something y'all could take on the road professionally?
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Alex: At first, I didn't really want it to be that. It wasn't Sicard Hollow. It was four guys. We had an upright bass player who was Will's next-door neighbor. I had no intention of it being a touring band. I was scared, and I didn't really want this. It found me, and it's such a non-traditional Nashville story. I moved here to figure something out, and it wasn't music. 
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Our first show was pretty unique. Our friend Andrew Manes, and our now manager, Tim Coughlin, were hosting an event at a local outdoor venue. They were streaming a Phish show, and he wanted us to "open" the show with a three-hour set. I'm just like, "Holy shit! We have to play for three hours, and we have maybe four originals." (laughs).
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We end up having over 100 people at our first show. Whether they were there to watch Phish or see us play, we played for three hours to over 100 people. Off the get go, I think we had that boost of confidence from a really positive crowd response. It was really encouraging to get that type of feedback on the first gig. 
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We kept on progressing in town. Then we'd drive an hour or so outside of town, and once again I'm just like, "Holy shit! We're getting paid to go play out of town, and we're not losing money." This is our fifth or sixth show at this point. We had this push early on, and I think it really kicked everyone in the ass a little. If this door is going to open up a little, let's kick it down and run with it as far as we can. 
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I think that mentality has really been the driving force. Now we're working with an agency. We're playing a bunch of festivals and touring all over the country. It's so crazy to think how much it has escalated over the past four years. It was so reassuring from the get go, which I don't think is the case for most bands. I really want to add that I'm incredibly grateful for our trajectory, and how it's been going thus far. 
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That's so cool. I'm glad you mentioned that, because I've been familiar with the band's name for a few years. I started Live & Listen in 2014, so I stay pretty in tune with what's happening in this particular music scene. I've known that you guys were a bluegrass band out of Nashville, but it did seem like you guys really came on super strong. It makes sense to hear you explain the backstory. I'm sure those Phish fans came out in the right mindset to see some killer music that night. 
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Alex: Right. And not being possessive about it, but Phish is my band (laughs). They saved my life, honestly. I started touring Phish when I was 20 years old, and I really started pouring all of my energy into that. Through Phish, I found my own musical passion. To have our first show being the "opener" on a big Phish streaming party - it was perfect. The stars aligned. It was such a reassuring experience. 
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Really love hearing that. I definitely share the passion when it comes to Phish. I always speak up when I hear people acting like they have to "pick" a jam band to love though. Phish is my #1, but I also go see Widespread Panic, moe., String Cheese, and so many others as often as I can. 
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Alex: Absolutely. I'm no stranger to any of them. I've got my hands in a lot of baskets as far as jam bands go. That's for sure. 
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Alright, so the band gets going in 2018 with some really solid momentum from day one. When did you start to see that the band was taking off and expanding into new markets?
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Alex: That's a good question. We played this festival called Bluegrass In The Bottoms in Kansas City. It was about a nine hour drive out there. Jeff Austin Band, Railroad Earth, Trampled by Turtles, Lindsay Lou, and so many major bands were on the lineup. I knew about these bands back then, but it's even crazier now to look back and think on it. I really didn't know what I was doing back then. I still don't know what I'm doing now. This is all sink or swim. Walk the plank. Jump in. See how long you can tread water for. It was super intimidating going there. 
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I'll mention this. I remember getting there, and there was a band called Kind Country. Rest in peace to Max Graham. Rest in peace to Jeff Austin, too. Max Graham was so hands on with us. He was so nice to us. We're in the green room, and there were all these killer musicians back there. I'm just keeping my tail between my legs. I wasn't going to talk to anyone. 
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Max really made us feel like we belonged though. Then we finally got to play a set of our music to a bluegrass crowd. Not a jam band crowd or a Nashville crowd, but these people were there to see bluegrass. The response was incredible. All of these out-of-town people coming up and asking us where we're from. Trying to link us up with new bands and venues across the country. 
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This was our first bluegrass festival. And as far as I know, a lot of these other bands have been doing this for a little bit longer than we have. It was really a crazy turning point for me. That festival put a lot of things into perspective for me. It also showed us what we needed to work on. That was Bluegrass in the Bottoms. I think it was three years ago. 
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Makes a lot of sense, man. Parrish Gabriel is y'all's bassist right?
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Alex: He is indeed!
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I thought so. I've hosted this event in Montgomery called Funksgiving over the years. Back in 2017, Parrish's old band Soul Mechanic played the event. I just recently realized he was Sicard Hollow's bassist. He's an absolute monster on the bass. 
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Alex: He is NASTY!
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He really is. At what point did y'all link up?
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Alex: Alright. I don't want to go on too long of a rant here, but I'll give you a quick run down of who has played bass for us and led us to Parrish. Chris Hancock was our first bassist. We were jamming at Will's house, and he walks over from next door with a massive upright bass above his head like a Tuscan Raider in Star Wars. He's probably late 30s, early 40s. He's a handyman, and he ends up getting in a circular saw accident. His glove got sucked into the saw. He sends us a picture of his thumb literally dangling. 
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So, we go bass-less for a little bit. Then, we picked up our buddy Trevor Clark. Shoutout to Trevor. He's an incredible musician. He really put us on to bluegrass when we moved into town. Trevor filled in for a bit, but he has his own career. He ultimately needed to focus his time and commitment on his own endeavors.
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So, we're back to bass-less. Matt (Rennick) is like, "I know this guy named Parrish." And my first question is, "Is he cool? is he the dude?" Matt assures me that he's the guy. So, Matt calls him up and asks if he has an upright bass. I think Parrish pulled one out of storage, and he was down immediately. He came over, and we must have jammed for six hours. 
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At this point, I've never heard him play an electric bass. I've only heard him on upright. He's obviously the homie. He's my brother. Immediately, when we started talking, I told him he was my soul brother, and I had his back for life. He was totally down and wanted the gig. Then a little later, I hear him plug in and play an electric bass. I had to sit him down and tell him that I would feel bad taking him away from that, if that's what he wanted to do. 
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I haven't seen someone slap a bass like that, first hand, maybe ever. It was an interesting thing. We didn't want to take him away from what he loved to do, but he really found a home in Sicard Hollow. He still gets to flex his slap chops in his side project, KillaKeyz. 
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That's right! I forgot he was a part of that band with Marcus (White).
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Alex: Yep. KillaKeyz is great. He still gets to do a lot of that. Since day one, Parrish has just been down to play. We're very blessed and grateful to include him in the Sicard Hollow family.
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That's so great. I guess it's just been in the past year or so that I became aware that Parrish was Sicard's bassist. It's really been that same period of time that I've gotten more familiar with the band, and this is a great segue into talking about y'all's original catalog.
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I was on the road yesterday, and I decided to throw on Sicard Hollow in the car. I listened to the new single, "Little Miss Tipsy," for the first time. Holy shit! I can't get enough of this song. I must have streamed it 15 times by the end of the day.  
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Alex: Let's gooo!
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That song is fucking great, man. From the opening notes, it just has such a fun, upbeat vibe to it. The lyrics are fantastic. 
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Alex: Man, that means so much!
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With the way Spotify works, I just moved right along into the Live From Brooklyn Bowl album. I was in the car most of the day, and I ended up listening to Sicard the entire time. While there is a lot of jam grass that I really enjoy, I don't necessarily listen to it super often. I'm really excited about digging deeper in the catalog, and ultimately, seeing y'all's live show.
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Alex: It's funny you mention that song. I'm literally about three feet from the water at the Harpeth River right now. This is where I wrote that song. I spend a lot of time here drinking my coffee and writing music. The first line in that song, "Let's walk down to the water / It's how I spend my time," that's what I do literally every day. I'm a river rat to my core. 
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It's funny you bring that up, because I'm sitting here staring at the Harpeth. That just kind of took me back to when I started writing that tune. I'd just go down to the river. Take out my guitar. Maybe crack a beer, or not. I drink my coffee down here too. I just start singing random shit. If something pops in my head, I'll just go with it. 
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I take out my phone and turn on the recorder. If you go through the voice memos on my phone, there are just hundreds and hundreds. A bunch of them are just jibberish trash, but you find some diamonds in there occasionally. When I started writing "Little Miss Tipsy," it was from my perspective, at first. The more I thought about it, it really wasn't me. It was more like a girl that I know from a festival. 
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The song kind of wrote itself after that point. That's kind of my writing process. I like to be a vessel to it. I can't really force anything, but when it's flowing, grab it and run with it. Or let it take you wherever it's going to. "Little Miss Tipsy" was one of those where the words were just rolling off my tongue. 
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Listen to "Little Miss Tipsy" here:
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It's one of those songs that sucks you in right away. A lot of relatable stuff in there. You nailed it with that one. It was just released a few weeks ago, right?
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Alex: Man, I really appreciate that. Yes, it did. I wrote it while ago. We have a new album coming out later in the year, and contrary to what people believe, "Little Miss Tipsy" will not be on it. We have so much material that we need to record. We decided to go back in the studio and cut a few more tracks that won't be in the album, so there is something to keep people on the edge of the seat until the album release.
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Speaking of your original music, let's touch on that a little more. Your first album Secret of the Breeze was released in March of 2020. Right before the pandemic hit. You followed that with Live at Brooklyn Bowl Nashville. Tell me a little about these albums. You've been working with Dan Davis in the studio, correct?
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Alex: That's right. Everything except the live album. Our friend Hank mixed that one. For the first album, Dan was our original banjo player. Dan is also an audio wizard, and he's amazing at what he does. Dan engineered the first album too, along with Preston White, at Southern Ground. That's Zac Brown's studio, which is just incredible. Dan has been amazing to work with. His work ethic is incredible, and we definitely wanted to go back and work on the next album with him. 
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We also worked with John Mailander, who plays fiddle with Bruce Hornsby & The Noisemakers, on the new album. He played fiddle on two of Billy Strings' albums (Home & Renewal). He plays with Billy a good bit. Having Dan and John on the creative side of the second album has just been a leveling up experience. The first album was great. We were figuring out how to swim. Then with the second album, now we know how to swim and we're working on technique. Getting going in the pool quicker, or maybe in a more beautiful way. 
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I don't know if that's a good analogy or not (laughs). We leveled up though. Dan has too. It's nice to see these relationships that we have, where we are all progressing, and we're all able to continuously scratch each other's backs as our careers heighten and progress. It's really been cool.
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As far as the new album, will this be material that you guys have tested live? Will there be anything that's brand new to your fans?
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Alex: I want to say that everything has been played live, but several songs have only been played a few times. We've been on the road testing some of them out. We haven't played them as much back home. I think there will be plenty of people surprised by what's on the album, and the way we present them on the album. There may be some slightly different arrangements and tempos. 
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I think people will be really stoked to hear how they are presented on the album. As far as a release date, I wish we could set something in stone. It's funny how it all works out. I'm still learning how the industry works. You can't just record something and release it immediately, which is what I'd like to do. It's done when you get it done. It turns out that there is a little more thought that goes behind these decisions. 
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I'm impatient, so I'm trying to hold on. I just want to release it and move on to the next album. We're trying to shop it up and get some publicists backing it. We're really hoping to create some noise around it before we release it. We're waiting on certain factors to fall in place. It will definitely be out this year. Late 2022 is probably a safe bet. it feels like it's been a long time coming. I'm ready to get it out.
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Can't wait to hear it. Before we wrap this up, let's talk about Deebs Days. I know y'all are tight with the CBDB guys. You're a Birmingham native. I'm sure this one is extra special for you. How are y'all feeling about being a part of this Birmingham festival in August? What should people expect from Sicard's performance?
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Alex: I could go on for days about this. I love Avondale Brewery. My parents live four minutes away from the venue. I grew up across town, but that is literally my family's neighborhood now. I cannot wait for this. We've played the upstairs room at Avondale once before, but this is dreams right now. I've been waiting to play that stage for such a long time. Super stoked on it. Hometown shows are incredible. 
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This is going to be the largest caliber show that we've played in Birmingham. I've been waiting for this. It almost feels like our Birmingham debut of sorts, because we've leveled up so much since the last time we played there. We are just elated to be included. As far as the performance goes, there is another bluegrass band in Birmingham called The Mountain Grass Unit...
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I know all about those guys. They are really going places.
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Alex: Luke, Drury, and Sam are incredible. We love those dudes so much, so you might potentially see some sit-ins, but you can count on high-energy, ripping jam grass. They are INSANE. Absolutely insane. I strive to be on Luke's level on guitar, and he's eight years younger than me. It just goes to show that those guys are next level. They deserve everything coming their way. They're the real deal.
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It's great to see that relationship already forming between y'all. I think it's a no brainer that there should be a major tour featuring Sicard Hollow & The Mountain Grass Unit down the road. 
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Alex: Absolutely. 100%. We feel the same way. Not that they have anything to prove to us, but it certainly didn't take much to catch our attention. You hear the first 30 seconds of their set and you're just like, "Holy shit! They are on to something."
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Can't wait to see what all will unfold down the road with these two bands on the road. I really appreciate your time today, Alex. Can't wait to catch my first Sicard set at Deebs Days in August.
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Alex: Thanks so much Jordan. We're just as excited!
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Big Something Reveals Lineup For Annual Festival: The Big What? June 13, 2022 16:08

Photo + Press Release via Big Something

Click Here: Purchase Tickets to The Big What?

Big Something has announced the 2022 lineup for their annual Summer music festival and campout - The Big What? - taking place August 4 - 6, 2022 at Pops Farm in Martinsville, VA after a 2 year hiatus. Formerly held in North Carolina, The Big What? will begin a new chapter in its 9 year history with a short move just across state lines to one of Virginia’s most pristine outdoor music venues, Pops Farm, also home to Rooster Walk Music Festival.

“We are so excited to reunite with the ‘what-fam’ for a new adventure together at Pops Farm,” Nick MacDaniels of Big Something explains. “This is going to be a unique creative experience for the band and our community and we are very grateful to have both Pops Farm and Rooster Walk supporting our vision. We've got a lot of fun ideas in mind already and can't wait to bring The Big What? back to life in this beautiful new space."

Every year since the festival first formed in 2012, The Big What? has featured a 3 day musical and artistic journey curated by Big Something, Possum Holler Productions and Life Is Art Studios. Now in its 9th year, The Big What? will continue where it left off in 2019 with the same core team of organizers plus additional support from members of the Rooster Walk organization. Fans can expect a fun and collaborative environment with multiple unique performances by Big Something plus an eclectic lineup of musicians, artists and performers.


Phil Lesh & Friends + Wilco to Join Forces as 'PHILCO' at Sacred Rose June 10, 2022 08:06

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Press Release via Sacred Rose
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Phil Lesh & Friends joins previously-announced headliners Khruangbin, The War On Drugs, Black Pumas, Umphrey’s McGee, Joe Russo’s Almost Dead, Goose, STS9, Greensky Bluegrass, Kamasi Washington, Animal Collective, and Margo Price
 Friday, August 26 - Sunday, August 28, 2022 at Chicagoland’s SeatGeek Stadium Campus
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Chicago’s new multi-genre festival SACRED ROSE, debuting at SeatGeek Stadium on August 26 - 28, 2022, has announced details of its Friday, August 26 headliner Phil Lesh & Friends..Featuring the world debut of special guests Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy (vocalist/guitarist) and Nels Cline (guitarist) alongside host and captain of the musical ship Phil Lesh, SACRED ROSE will proudly present the first-ever ‘PHILCO’ performance. The headlining Friday night set in Wilco’s native Chicago will truly be a once-in-a-lifetime musical moment, melding together the fabrics of two iconic American bands for the first (and likely last) time ever. Anchored by Lesh’s white-hot bass riffs, PHILCO will see Tweedy channel Jerry Garcia’s vocal power while Cline purveys six-string shredding.

Also joining Lesh, Tweedy and Cline is an all-star roster of critically-acclaimed musicians including Jeff Chimenti (Dead & Co, Wolfpack), Karl Denson (Rolling Stones, Greyboy Allstars), John Molo (Phil Lesh & Friends), Stu Allen (Phil Lesh & Friends + Dark Star Orchestra), Grahame Lesh (Phil Lesh & Friends + Midnight North), and Elliott Peck (Midnight North).

Says Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy: “Nels and I are honored to be asked to join Phil and Friends for Sacred Rose. There has been so much about Phil and the Dead to be inspired by over the years, from their longtime musical brotherhood to their wonderful and incomparable music, to their relentless touring and longevity. But perhaps the biggest inspiration is their dedication to the community that has grown up around them. This is a trait that we in Wilco deeply appreciate and have aimed to emulate over the years. There’s nothing better than playing music with your friends, for your friends." 

Lesh has a special relationship with Wilco, dating back to 1999 when the Grateful Dead founding member performed his catalog hit “Ripple” with the band at their California concert. In 2016, Wilco joined forces with Lesh’s fellow founding member Bob Weir to cover Grateful Dead’s “St. Stephen,” with Leshreturning the favor in 2019 when his Terrapin Family Band covered Wilco’s “Misunderstood”.

SACRED ROSE’s eclectic line-up spans the sweet sounds of Americana, psych-rock, jam, indie, soul, funk and bluegrass which includes Khruangbin, The War On Drugs, Black Pumas, Umphrey’s McGee, Joe Russo’s Almost Dead, Goose, STS9, Greensky Bluegrass, Kamasi Washington, Animal Collective, Margo Price, and many more

Both 3-day and single-day tickets are on sale now!
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SACRED ROSE LINEUP

Phil Lesh & Friends aka PHILCOKhruangbinThe War On DrugsBlack PumasUmphrey's McGeeJoe Russo's Almost DeadGooseSTS9Greensky BluegrassThe Disco BiscuitsKamasi WashingtonSt. Paul & The Broken BonesPunch BrothersDawesAnimal CollectiveHiatus KaiyoteThe Wood BrothersCity and ColourYves TumorLettuceMoon TaxiCory WongLotusThe Infamous Stringdusters Feat. Molly TuttleWith Special Guest Margo Price (Artist At Large)

(A-Z)

Andy Frasco and the U.N.Blu DeTigerCircles Around The SunDanielle PonderGone Gone BeyondHolly BowlingKarina RykmanKitchen DwellerslespecialLiz CooperLuke MitraniMaggie RoseMidnight NorthNicole AtkinsSierra HullSunSquabi Feat. Kanika Moore (Artist At Large)SyzygalThe Dip

White Denim


Deebs Days Countdown: An Interview with Cy Simonton of CBDB June 8, 2022 16:32

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Photo by Kinsey Haynes
Interview by Jordan Kirkland: Live & Listen
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As most music fans in and around the Birmingham area are already aware, CBDB and Big Friendly Productions have joined forces to bring an incredible new festival to Avondale Brewing Company this summer. Deebs Days Music Festival is pinned for Friday, August 19th and Saturday, August 20th in Birmingham (AL), and all signs point to an incredible celebration. If you haven't gotten around to purchasing your weekend passes, we've got you covered. Simply click the link below and secure your spot while you still can. 
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As we prepare for the festival, we're catching up with a handful of the performers on the lineup. It was an easy decision to kick off the "Deebs Days Countdown" with none other than Cy Simonton of CBDB. Cy is not only the frontman and founding member of the band, but also one of the driving forces behind this entire concept. Check out the full conversation below to learn a little bit more about the year as a whole for CBDB, their recent hiatus announcement, and everything you can expect at Deebs Days in August. 
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It's great to sit down and catch up for a few minutes today, Cy. I figured we could kick off the interview by touching on the latest announcement from CBDB. The band has decided to press pause and take an indefinite hiatus following Deebs Days. What would you like to share about this announcement?

Cy: Yeah man. As far as taking the pause, I think we're just wanting to take a break from being on the road. Try some new things for a bit. I think change is good for the soul sometimes. I think that's what we're looking for. We are looking at Deebs Days as a celebration of the last ten years, I think it will be a perfect celebration of that. 

Totally agree. There's no better way to send the band off for a break and allow y'all to recharge. See what the next proper chapters are in life, right?

Cy: For sure, man.

Tell me a little bit about how this year has gone thus far for the band. I'm sure it's been a blessing to be able to get back out there and play so many of the band's favorite cities and venues. 

Cy: We've had some incredible shows. Knowing that this has been coming, I think that being on stage has been super special. You really try to soak it all in and not take anything for granted. Brooklyn Bowl (Nashville) with Sicard Hollow and LadyCouch was incredible. Both of those bands will be at Deebs Days. The new Brooklyn Browl is just a killer room. We had a great crowd, and that felt really good. A lot of the shows in the Northeast were super fun. Syracuse, Baltimore, Charlottesville, really all of them have been a lot of fun. 

That's so great to hear man. I know y'all just played Candler Park Music Festival in Atlanta. I know that had to be special for you. Playing another major, long standing festival where you grew up. How did things go over in Atlanta last weekend?

Cy: It went really well man. The crowd was super great. I thought we played really well. It was such a great vibe. We were grateful to be a part of it. The weather was perfect. Just great vibes all around at Candler Park.

Love that. Well, let's jump a little more into Deebs Days. I know that the band has been tossing the idea around of curating your own festival for a while now. It's been a really successful concept for many bands that you guys have come up around. Tell me about the thought process that went into this and how you landed on Avondale Brewery.

Cy: Having our own festival is something we've been thinking about for a few years. We knew it would be in Alabama. That's always been home base for the band, even if we don't all live there anymore. From there, it came down to Avondale or Horse Pens 40. The camping aspect is something that is super, super fun, but I think that throws another wrinkle in it for a first time festival. I think, for us, Birmingham felt like the right place to do it.

In Birmingham, Avondale Brewery is clearly the right option. We've had so many great shows there. It's always felt like a home base for us. When I brought this up to Alex Cape (Big Friendly Productions) a while back, he was super into it. I think he had been thinking about doing something similar at Avondale for a while. I think when we had this conversation, it was kind of a serendipitous moment of "this is how we're going to make this happen." 

That's great. From what I understand, this will be the first event to bring in a second stage to the Avondale concert grounds. This will really allow y'all to create a true festival flow.

Cy: Yeah man. It should really allow us to have a seamless thing going that weekend. As soon as one band ends, the next one gets started. No time for any fluff (laughs).

That's really exciting man. Looking at the lineup, CBDB will be playing both nights. You've got Brass Against coming in to headline on Friday. How did y'all go about putting together this group of bands to come together for Deebs Days?

Cy: I think there were a few things that were really important to us with the lineup. We obviously wanted to have bands that are friends of ours that we love. Both local and those outside of the area. We also wanted to make sure that we had a diverse lineup. We didn't want it to be just one vibe. We wanted to be able to bounce around multiple genres that we all enjoy.

Brass Against is gonna be killer. That's just a big, high-energy brass band. They do Rage Against The Machine, Deftones, and Tool covers, along with some original material. I think that's gonna be really fun. We have some great bluegrass acts. There are obviously some awesome jam bands like Mungion or Daniel Donato with the cosmic country but we also are covering more straight forward rock and roll with Dave Hause and others. You have a band like Audiophile, which brings more of a modern indie/pop/rock element to the lineup. We wanted to have lots of different flavors, and I think we accomplished that.  

Absolutely. I think you definitely did that. There's something for everyone, when you start digging through each of the bands pinned to perform. A lot of musical flavors that all kinds of patrons can enjoy. 

Aside from what we've discussed thus far. What message would you like to send to your fans? I know there are some bittersweet emotions surrounding this time period. What would you like to say to those who have supported the band through the years?

Cy: Oh man. Just so much love and gratitude. There are so many incredible memories from the road. So many people have shown us so much generosity. People letting us crash in their homes, cooking meals, buying tickets and merch, and just coming out to support the band night after night. All of it means the world to each of us. I'd really just like to say "thank you" to everyone who has supported us. It has meant the world to us. Then, I'd also like to say, "Get your Deebs Days tickets, and let's get ready to rage!"

That's right. The fans can get ready for what should be two of the most exciting CBDB shows to date. 

Cy: Absolutely. We've been hearing from a lot of people from all over. We're excited to hear that we have people getting flights and traveling from all over for the weekend. The vibe should be incredible, with a lot of close friends coming together in one spot. 

That's amazing to hear. Is there anything else you'd like to touch on before we wrap up?

Cy: I think the main thing is just recognizing all of the hard work and energy that our team and the Big Friendly team are putting into this. Without spoiling any surprises, there are going to be some amazing art installations built for the festival. There has been so much attention to detail. Big Friendly are incredibly valuable to the festival, and we would not be able to pull this off without all of the hard work that they're putting in.

No doubt about that man. That's an incredible group of folks, and you won't find a more talented production company. Knowing that they're on board is fantastic. 

Cy: Absolutely man. I couldn't agree more.

Well, it's always a pleasure chatting, my friend. Excited to be a part of this and can't wait to see it all come together.  

Cy: Likewise, man. Thank you Jordan!


Don't Miss Michael Weintrob's InstrumentHead Revealed Book Launch in Birmingham June 8, 2022 13:10

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Press Release via Michael Weintrob
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Instrumenthead:  Revealed Exhibit & Book Launch (Michael Weintrob) 
Saturday, June 11 @ 2:00pm CT 
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2920 6th Avenue South, Birmingham, AL 
Art, Live music, Food 
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INSTRUMENTHEAD:  REVEALED
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PHOTOGRAPHER MICHAEL WEINTROB’S COMPANION BOOK TO INSTRUMENTHEAD 
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FEATURES PORTRAITS OF 300+ MUSICIANS, AVAILABLE APRIL 26, 2022
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PROCEEDS TO BENEFIT NEW ORLEANS MUSICIANS CLINIC 
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“When you mix art and music like you’ve done here, it’s just phenomenal. It doesn’t get any better than this,” the great Allen Toussaint once said to photographer Michael Weintrob.  The exhibition was for his 2017 book Instrumenthead, where Weintrob photographed 369 musicians with their signature instruments covering their heads, for some of the most unusual portraits in modern music.  “This is where musicians’ heads are really at,” adds Weintrob.   The book won the Independent Publisher Book Award for Most Outstanding Design.
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Weintrob’s companion book Instrumenthead:  Revealed will be published April 26, 2022 and will showcase “unmasked” portraits of these same musicians, including Bootsy Collins, Susan Tedeschi, Mickey Hart, Johnny Winter, Charlie Musselwhite, all with their own style and artistry.  Preorder is available now at Instrumenthead.com.
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Three dollars of every book sold will benefit the New Orleans Musicians’ Clinic.  Founded by a coalition of music advocates in 1998, the New Orleans’ Musicians’ Clinic is the first medical clinic for musicians, performing artists and cultural workers in the US. 
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“I want to do my part to inspire people to learn about new music and the artists who create it,” adds Weintrob, who photographed the unmasked portraits during the original Instrumenthead sessions.   “I love to connect and break down walls with my photography.  Everyone has the ability to be a kid again. This book is really special, because we’re unmasking the original photos. The book reflects the new energy this year.” 
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Concert promoter Peter Shapiro added, “Michael Weintrob brings a new approach and new ideas to how to capture musicians in a way where their soul shines through, often in a way that doesn’t come through during the best jam session on-stage. It’s Michael’s ability to capture their inner spirit off-stage that separates him from others, and makes him one of the best music photographers of his generation.”
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Victor Wooten adds, “Michael Weintrob is a musician, not just any kind, he is musician of the highest caliber. The difference between Michael, myself, and all the other subjects in this work of art is that Michael’s instrument is a camera. Weintrob is a visionary!  As we all journey toward a better tomorrow, there seems to be no better time than now to lower our masks and unveil the faces behind the Instrument Heads.”
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About Michael Weintrob 
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Two decades of navigating the music business and transforming the storytelling of image, photographer Michael Weintrob’s work spans all aspects of industry. Created in the field where he has shot over 5,000 artists in-concert or his Brooklyn studio, Weintrob’s work covers everything from advertising to editorial needs showcasing the live element of performance and conceptual campaigns of portraiture.
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Weintrob has acted as house photographer for Red Rocks Amphitheater, The Festival Network, the CareFusion Jazz Festival Series, and Bluegrass Underground, and is currently the house pick for OZ Nashville’s Brave New Art celebrating its inaugural season.
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Major exhibitions of work have been hosted in Spain by the US Consulate, in New Orleans during the Jazz and Heritage Festival and in Charleston for the Spoleto Art Festival and the Newport Jazz Festival. His work benefits the New Orleans Musicians’ Clinic and Assistance Foundation, Sweet Relief Musicians Fund, Rock the Earth, The Music Maker Foundation and the Newport Festivals Foundation with plans to continue giving as long as there are stories to tell.
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Space Was The Place For Widespread Panic At The Orion Amphitheater In Huntsville June 2, 2022 19:19

Words by Monica Dean 

Photos by Craig Baird: Home Team Photography

Widespread Panic kicked off the Memorial Day run with a cover of Neil Young’s, “Keep on Rockin in the Free World”. John Bell delivered the timely message, “Here’s one more kid that will never go to school / Never get to fall in love, never get to be cool” after the recent school shooting in Texas that took the lives of 19 students and two teachers. Then it was down to business with a blow of Sunny Ortiz’s whistle into Coconuts, before Dave Schools gleefully welcomed the crowd “to space camp.”  A body shaking “Worry” before JoJo Hermann set fire to his piano with “Big Wooly Mammoth” to close the set.

Panic paid respects to several influencers and mentors Memorial Day weekend, especially to Col. Bruce Hampton. They started the second set with “Fixin’ To die,” a song Colonel Bruce loved to cover. JB's voice resonated in our soul on “Mercy,” before hurling the crowd back into outer space with a playful rap between JB and Schools on “Going Out West.”  Panic slides backwards through space and time into  “Barstools and Dreamers” with a super rare and much missed “Thank You For Lettin’ Me Be Mice Elf” rap that hasn’t been played since 2015.  Second set closed out with a tribute to Tom Petty with “Honeybee.”  Panic raps up their first night in Huntsville with JB getting growly on “Pigeons.”

They were back at it on Saturday night; sipping on a “Tallboy” served up with some “Ribs and Whiskey” to start the first set and closed out with Jojo getting rowdy on “All Time Low”.  Buffalo Springfield’s “For What It’s Worth” opened the second set. There was a long “Fire on the Mountain” tease during “Stop/Go,” and Neil's Young's "Walk On" was up next. “Driving Song” runs into “Surprise Valley,” takes a break for drums and a jam before Panic orbits back around into “Driving Song” and “Surprise Valley” again. The crowd had “an ass kicking time” during “Postcard” to end the second set. A hard hitting “Halloween Face” and “Flat Foot Flewzy” ended night two.

Things got real when a backwards hat JB walked onstage Sunday night for more Memorial Day tributes.  The set started with Link Wray’s instrumental “Rumble” before giving us all a “little bit of room to fly” with “Conrad”. Panic returns to tributes with Willie Dixie’s “Weak Brain, Narrow Mind”, Billy Joe Shaver’s “Chunk of Coal,” and Vic Chesnutt’s “Sleeping Man” and “Morally Challenged” which was played for just the third time ever. JB flows through Danny Hutchens’ (Bloodkin) “Trashy” before grabbing the keys and taking a ride on “Love Tractor” to end the first set. 

Memorials continue in the second set with “Down,” a song written by founding Panic drummer Todd Nance who passed away in 2021. Coming back to Col. Bruce once again for a Zambi inspired jam, “Time is Free'' with a nice “Space is the Place” rap from JB.  When asked about what Zambi meant, Col. Bruce once said in an interview that “the principal of Zambi is when in doubt, go completely out”.  Panic did just that Sunday night with an encore honoring founding Widespread Panic members, guitarist Michael Houser and drummer Todd Nance with “Blue Indian”, “Travelin’ Man” and “The Waker”.

Next up, Widespread Panic makes the yearly pilgrimage to the land of sunny rocks June 24-26 at Red Rocks Amphitheater in Denver.


The Road to Mountain Music Fest: Kanika Moore of Doom Flamingo June 1, 2022 21:51

Photo and Music Video by Paul Chelmis

Interview by Jordan Kirkland: Live & Listen

As countless music fans prepare for this year's Mountain Music Festival at ACE Adventure Resort in Oak Hill (WV) on June 2-4 (2022), we're sitting down with a number of this year's performers to get a better feel for what fans can expect this year. This festival was established in 2014 and has proceeded to solidify itself as one of the most anticipated jam-focused events of the year. While MMF features an array of major national acts, Doom Flamingo is most definitely amongst those generating the most excitement this weekend.
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Since the band's formation in 2018, this band has been on the fast track to success. Led by Umphrey's McGee bassist Ryan Stasik, this project was originally assembled for a UM afterparty, and there wasn't any specific plan for a long term future. Fellow Charleston musician Mike Quinn (saxophone) helped assemble an incredible cast of musicians for a set of music often described as "synth wave." The reception was absolutely incredible from day one, and it was apparent that this was not meant to be a one-time party. 
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Here we are four years later, and Doom Flamingo has made significant progress up the "jam/festival" ladder. Not only will you find them performing frequent late-night sets after Umphrey's shows, but they're being booked for the vast majority of major music festivals. This is truly an all-star cast of musicians, and you can expect them to keep this train rolling for many years to come. 
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Earlier this week, we caught up with lead singer Kanika Moore, who provided some insight on her personal journey, as well as that of the band. Kanika has established herself as one of the premiere vocalists in the game, and if you've had a chance to listen to this band, you already know why. You can catch her performing with TAUK Paper Scissors on Friday and Doom Flamingo on Saturday at Mountain Music Festival this weekend. See below for the full conversation, and make sure to follow Doom Flamingo on Facebook and Instagram for all of the latest updates.
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Thanks so much for your time today, Kanika. I thought we could get started by talking about your introduction to singing. At what point did you realize this was something you wanted to pursue full time?
Kanika: I was really surrounded by music at a young age. I was totally surrounded by it. I didn't actually start pursuing it until about 10 years ago. I think what sparked it was when my grandmother passed. She saw me sing with her in church a lot. She was involved with the choir and have me sing a little bit during rehearsal. When she passed, I sang a song at her funeral. From then on, I knew that's what I wanted to do.
I went to school for surgical technology, but I ultimately decided I wanted to work in music. I moved away from Charleston (SC) for a while. I was actually in Columbia (SC), and that's when I started working with Mike Quinn (Doom Flamingo) in Charleston. I was working with a few of my family members who play around here as well. But yeah, It wasn't until about 10 years ago that I got into music as a professional.
That's amazing. I know losing someone as important as your grandmother had to be extremely challenging, but that had to be such a special experience. For that to have sparked such a major journey in life...that's pretty powerful.
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Kanika: Yeah absolutely. It was one of those things that kind of connected me to the music that I always knew. Before she passed, I was living with her. I started exploring more music, and that's when the interest really started developing. I eventually moved back to Charleston, and I was working with Mike. We were working with this wedding band, and that sparked into Motown Throwdown. Then, I started working with Ross and TK (Thomas Kenney). Actually, I've probably been working with TK as long as Mike.
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We started working on some side projects. Hank (Wharton) reached out to one person, and someone reached out to someone else. Ryan (Stasik) had just moved here, and he was looking to start a side project. We put the band together like a puzzle. It was really supposed to be just a few gigs when Umphrey's was playing in Charleston.
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From there, we got in the studio and recorded some stuff. We realized quickly that this was a lot more than that. Ever since then, we've just hit the ground running. We slowed down for a second during quarantine just like everyone else did, but it was still a new project for us. During that slow time, we got to send music to each other and build more original music.
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That's really interesting. I know COVID hit the music industry so hard. It was such a road block for touring musicians in so many ways. I can see how a new project as unique as Doom Flamingo found some light in that darkness though. All of the time you need to build that original catalog.
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Kanika: Definitely. It's been great to work on writing with someone like Ryan. The first time that I performed with Umphrey's was actually the first time I'd heard them live. That was quite the experience. I have a close friend who passed away a few years ago. He couldn't believe that I didn't know who Umphrey's McGee was. I went over to his house to buy some weed or something. He has his friend were watching videos of this band for hours and hours. They told me it was Umphrey's McGee, and I was like, "I don't know who that is!" I ended up staying the night and watching hours of videos. The next time I saw them was when I was performing with them on stage.
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Incredible. Well, I know that you said that there are a lot of Doom Flamingo shows that coincide with where Umphrey's is playing. Your audience really seems to be taking off on its own though. SweetWater 420 Fest had to be a really special experience for you. You sat in and sang with so many bands. I thought I'd see if you could tell me about that weekend and any other memorable experiences this year.
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Kanika: Well, I think I took a late interest in music outside of Christian, R&B, and soul. When I started to learn about all of these other genres, I got really eager and wanted to learn everything. My outlet for that now is being able to play with different bands and experience that. I want to be busy, and I like all of the variety. I know that when you put a band together, you have a certain theme. I like the idea of being able to come to these festivals and play with everyone.
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Doom really seems to be taking off this year. This is really the first time that we've had to focus on a band and try to cover a whole selection or set of music. That's what we did with Queen at 420 Fest. Ross had that idea. He's always had a passion for Queen. It's interesting playing with Ryan, because he works with Umphrey's, and that's also a really big thing. It does work out to do those late-night shows, but it's also been working out to play these festivals and be there for the entire weekend, like we will at Summer Camp.
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Most of our plays are late-night, but the variety is also really nice. Kicking off the day at 420 Fest with that Queen set was amazing. Big Something comes to Charleston a lot. I hadn't had an opportunity to be a part of their show until that weekend. I had a lot of things on my chest that I wanted to do, and I got a lot of that done at 420. I didn't know how much I would be able to perform with others, but I definitely made myself available.
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I loved that whole experience. It was amazing. The footage that I saw. The experience that I had on stage. Being able to perform our original music. Being able to perform with The Psychodelics. That band hadn't had the opportunity to play that large of a festival before. There were just a lot of things on my checklist that I got to do. The weather was perfect. The people were perfect.
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They had a tent set up in the back. It was right after the Queen set. They had a chiropractor and a Vida Flo tent with the IVs. Right after that set, I got straightened up by the chiropractor. The rest of the weekend was just smooth sailing. It's easy to not take great care of yourself on the road. I'm so glad that they had all of that. I bought a bunch of shit out there. I had such a great time.
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That's so great to hear. It's amazing to hear that the performers are having an equally amazing time. That sounds like top notch hospitality. In a few weekends, you will be at Mountain Music Festival. Doom plays on Saturday. You're also a part of the TAUK Paper Scissors set on Friday, right?
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Kanika: Yes, I am. I've known the TAUK guys for a few years. I've always been interested in working with them. They just reached out to everyone to see if they were available. I'm sure you've seen how they do the TAUKing McGee thing. This seems like a similar thing. I'm not even sure how much time I'll be on stage with them, but I'm really excited to work with them.
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This is why I love these festivals. When you're there, and these musicians are playing, you're going to brush shoulders at some point. You're going to figure out how much you have in common. All of the sudden you're working on music together. And if it hits hard enough, maybe you go into the studio and record it. So, fingers crossed things work out with what we're doing with TAUK. I do have some high hopes for that. Just the collaborating and merging of the band while we're in one area.
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Absolutely. I know Doom is part of Saturday at MMF, which is the final day. Attendance should be at its peak moment. This should be such a great opportunity to keep building Doom's fanbase in that part of the country.
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Kanika: Absolutely. The people just become more familiar with you.
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I almost forgot to mention the new single. I know today is a big day for Doom Flamingo. The new single, "Lux Noir," was just released. What's the story behind this tune?
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Kanika: Ross wrote this song. Originally, a guy named Jordan Noir was working on some artwork to go along with our comic book that we came out with a few years ago. He came up with animated characters for each member of the band. Ross wrote this song about an idea of what our band would be doing if Charleston was completely different, and we were of the future. It started out with that, then the words, and we talked about putting some videos together.
I'm obviously a woman, and I've been on this girl power pitch for a while. When I first got into the festival scene, I noticed how few women were performing on stage. Female performers are such a big reason as to why a festival is so much fun. The colors, the dancing, just everything about it makes me feel spectacular. The video features an all-girl party, and I love that.
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That's definitely something that I've noticed in recent years. The female presence is definitely increasing in this scene, and that's an amazing thing. It's amazing to keep seeing that diversity. Before we wrap this up, is there anything else that you'd like to mention that you're excited about?
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Kanika: Just the content that we're waiting to release. We have an album coming out. Releasing a bunch of songs. There is another music video coming out soon. More singles, another album, and more videos this year. Just eager to get the content out for everyone to listen to.
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I know there are a lot of people out there who will be so excited to see this content surface. Thanks so much for your time today, Kanika. Looking forward to seeing you at Mountain Music Fest.
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Kanika: Thanks so much, Jordan. See you there!
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Check out the official music video for "Lux Noir" here:
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Nashville's Tom Galloway Salvages Gold With New Album 'Wreckage' June 1, 2022 21:04

Photo by Middle TN Films

Words by Jordan Kirkland: Live & Listen

Nashville-based singer/songwriter Tom Galloway has been grinding his way through the world of music since his teenage years. After leading various groups through his time as a high school student, Galloway founded the jam/rock band Mama's Love during his college years in Athens, Georgia. Quickly becoming one of the Southeast's most popular touring acts at that time, it was immediately clear that he was on to something special. The band remained active and toured regularly all the way up through 2014, when Galloway and his bandmates began pursuing other musical endeavors. 

After relocation to Nashville, he would join up with former Mama's Love bandmate Whit Murray's band Maradeen. Shortly thereafter, Galloway would also begin focusing on his solo career as a singer/songwriter. After releasing his debut EP Cross Currents in August of 2018, Galloway followed with his sophomore EP, Rearview, in October of 2020. While so many were familiar with Galloway's work playing electric guitar and singing in Mama's Love and Maradeen, these releases allowed him to showcase a completely different, more personal side of his songwriting. 

As you will read in the Q&A below, there was a collection of songs that Mama's Love started recording back in 2014 which had never seen the light of day. While many of these tunes had become fan favorites in the band's later years, even Galloway himself had almost forgotten about them. This material was extremely personal and held a special place in his heart. They were rediscovered back in 2020, and thanks to the help of Nashville-based producer Dan Davis, they're now available on all major streaming platforms as of Friday, May 27th.

Just a few days ago, I was fortunate enough to catch up with Galloway and hear all about the story of Wreckage. I learned that this release is truly as important as any other collection of music he has released, and after listening to these tracks, I can totally see why. Check out the Q&A below to learn a little bit more, and make sure to give this album a full spin as soon as you can find the time. 

Tell me about the lineup you assembled for this project. What's your history with these guys?

Tom: The original group in the studio was the Mama’s Love lineup from 2013-14: Bill Baker, Ross Bogan, Richard Chamberlain, & Doyle Williams. This was set to be the fourth Mama’s Love record but was left unfinished. Most of these songs were the new favorites of our live shows around that time. This group was full-time on the road for years. We had ourselves a time all up and down the east coast and frequented the west in a treacherous converted red shuttle bus we named Bunny Wheeler. 

The Nashville sessions included Dan Davis behind the board, with guitar overdubs from Stephen Taylor (Tom Galloway Band), Whit Murray (Maradeen, Mama’s Love), and Daniel Donato (Daniel Donato’s Cosmic Country). Davis also recorded and sang background vocals with Cy Simonton (CBDB), Willow Scrivner (Willow & Wood), and percussion from John Rodrigue.  If you are familiar with all these guitarists, it’s really cool to try and guess who is playing where. The mix of all these guys makes for a dynamic listening experience for sure.   

What's the backstory on these seven tracks? Is this all previously unreleased material?

Tom: A lot of these songs were written during a transition in my life when things were uncertain. The lyrics deal a lot with isolation and searching for love and meaning. The opener, "Land of the Midnight Sun," and the single "Missouri," were written on the same day. We always paired these songs together as openers for our live shows, so it felt natural to have them back to back at the beginning of the album. "Levees of the Heartland" deals with dropping emotional barriers to the power of love. "Hey Little Angel" was brought to the table by keyboardist, Ross Bogan, and it was always a rowdy song to play live. After hearing Angel again I had to call him up and ask if I could release it. "Times of Trouble" touches on broken dreams mixed with unhealthy distractions. "Stone Farm" is a story of desolation, a farmer haunted by lost love praying for redemption. "Broken Blues" is a heartbreaker and an ode to the healing power of music. 

Tell me about the recording process for Wreckage.

Tom: We started the record in ‘14 with songs I’d been writing since ‘12, and now 10 years later, here we are. In the process of moving to Nashville and getting involved in different projects, the foggy idea of releasing these songs kept getting pushed and for a while, I had forgotten about them entirely. But when I recovered the basic tracks in 2020, I was reminded of how important these tunes are to me. The true hero in this is my good friend and producer, Dan Davis, who was able to take these raw scattered tracks and transform them into worthy releasable songs. I don’t think either of us knew what we were getting into trying to piece this all together. We had several guitar overdub sessions in Nashville, and we recut all the lead vocals, harmonies, and percussion, while Bogan sent us some fresh overdubs from Charleston. Slowly but surely, we got the tracks to a place where we felt comfortable releasing. It wasn’t easy, and I’m truly grateful for the time and energy spent by Dan and everyone else on this project, and it feels good to say we salvaged the gold from the wreckage.     

What do you hope people take away from this recording and these songs?

Tom: I realized halfway through the re-recording process that putting this out was really more for me than anything else. And as we struggled to get this right, the more I needed these songs to come out. Because it’s not just seven old songs being released, it’s a part of my life I can now revisit through this music; a collision of the musical family of my past with the musical family of my present. It’s really cool to listen through and hear the different parts from everyone. The album melts into an amazing sentimental and satisfying piece of personal history and I’m grateful to everyone that made it happen.

Stream Wreckage in its entirety via Spotify here:


The Road to Mountain Music Fest: Rich Vogel of Galactic May 26, 2022 10:13

Photo by Marc Pagani

Interview by Jordan Kirkland: Live & Listen

As countless music fans prepare for this year's Mountain Music Festival at ACE Adventure Resort in Oak Hill (WV) on June 2-4 (2022), we're sitting down with a number of this year's performers to get a better feel for what fans can expect this year. This festival was established in 2014 and has proceeded to solidify itself as one of the most anticipated jam-focused events of the year. While MMF features an array of major national acts, I think everyone can agree that Galactic is the main event of the weekend.
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Since the band's formation back in 1994, Galactic quickly solidified themselves as a permanent fixture on the festival circuit. I think it's accurate to call them one of the founding members of the modern jam/funk scene. Hailing from New Orleans, this band has truly done it all over the past 30 years. You won't find long-standing, major festival that they haven't played. This is funk music in its truest form, and their Friday night / Saturday morning set at MMF might just set the mountain on fire. 
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Earlier this week, we had a chance to sit down with founding member Rich Vogel (keyboards) just ahead of the festival. As you will read below, Rich and his bandmates became true pioneers early on, and they haven't even thought about looking back. Check out the full conversation below and make sure to follow the band on Instagram and Facebook to stay in tune with all of the latest happenings. 
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Great to speak with you today, Rich. Galactic has been going at it for nearly 30 years now. I think you guys started back in 1994. The lineup has seen so many collaborations. I was hoping you could tell me a little more about when this band started to take off.
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Rich: Yeah, you got it right. We started playing together back in 1994. I think that's when I started playing with them. Rob (Mercurio), Jeff (Raines), and Stanton (Moore) already had something going. They wanted some keyboards, so I volunteered my services (laughs). They invited me to a rehearsal, and the rest was history.
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We played a few gigs around town. We'd open for guys like George Porter Jr & The Runnin' Pardners. Played a bunch of uptown clubs. It was really in 1995 that we met Dan Prothero. He was an engineer / record producer who had done things on a label called Ubiquity out in San Francisco. They were putting out some old school, rare groove stuff from the 50s and 60s. Some of the underappreciated and unreleased stuff.
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Back then, all of music wasn't available like it is now. There was so much music that hadn't ever been released, especially in that world. They were rereleasing some things and really creating a scene out there on the West Coast.
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Dan came to New Orleans and was looking for a local band to record. Somehow, he got in touch with us. We ended up doing one track in our apartment, which was kind of the band house at the time. Stanton, Rob, and Jeff lived there, and I lived a few blocks away. We did all of our rehearsing there. We set up make shift recording gear. Dan had a DAT, which is a digital audio tape. It was pretty cutting edge at the time. No one was recording on computers yet.
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He was able to set up a make shift studio. We ended up cutting one song, which was "Black Eyed Pea." That appeared on a compilation record that Ubiquity put out. I remember the title of the record was Is That Jazz?  It was an interesting title, because it was a bunch of instrumental music with solos and everything, but it was more so based in funk.
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It was really that collaboration with him and making a recording of any kind that made things start to gel with us. We made plans with Dan to make a record. He came back in the summer of 1995. We booked two days at Sea-Saint Studios, which is a legendary studio in New Orleans. Sadly, it's no longer here post-Katrina. It was Allen Toussaint's studio where so much incredible music was recorded there in the 70s.
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Pretty much everything The Meters did was recorded there. We really wanted to work there, because it was the source of so much music we loved. We figured out we could record two days there (laughs). That was about how much analog tape we could record at the time as well (laughs). We were recording on 24-track analog tape. We also set up at the house so we had a few more days to fine tune some other stuff.
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We ended up making Coolin' Off, our first record. That was really it for us. That really turned the corner for us. We had an album, and we got accepted to play New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival for the first time in 1996. That was when we really hit the road and never looked back.
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That's amazing. I feel like the mid-late 90s was when so much was happening in that scene that Galactic fell in place with. Bands like Phish, Widespread Panic, Dave Matthews Band, and moe. were really taking off. Now you see the emergency of Galactic, Medeski Martin & Wood, Sound Tribe Sector 9, and Keller Williams. It seemed like a really special time to be a part of that movement.
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Rich: It really was. I completely agree with you, especially looking back now, It seemed like there was a handful of bands, you know? It seemed like we ended up knowing all of them within about a year or two of being out on the road. The bands were just really getting out there and playing shows.
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We were kind of used to playing for hours, late into the night around New Orleans. That was just how things went around there. We were trained up to go out and do whatever. These festivals were coming together. We were kind of designed for that with our history in New Orleans.
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I have a vivid memory of Medeski Martin & Wood coming into town. They playing a tune on WWOZ, our radio station in New Orleans, and I knew I needed to go see them. They had a keyboard player who plays organ and all of the old keyboards that I love. These weren't really in vogue prior to this era that you mention. Guys like Medeski, JoJo from Panic, and I were bringing out old Wurlitzers, Leslies, and Hammonds that had fallen out of vogue in the 80s and early 90s.
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I went to an MMW gig at the old Howlin' Wolf. It was fantastic. I was mesmerized by their whole evening of music. It's just three guys playing instrumental music. I'd never seen anyone who played music like that. They were so talented. They were improvising. Playing a lot of groove stuff with hip hop beats. It was so cool, and the 12-15 people who were there with me completely agreed (laughs).
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I think they came back 6-9 months later, and there were a few hundred people there. Then I they opened for Phish at some point, and when they came back, they were about ready to headline Tipitina's. That was right when we were getting to. The same type of thing happened. We went out in '96 and hit a bunch of clubs on the West Coast. Thanks to Dan and Ubiquity, there was already a little buzz about us out there.
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We had some pretty solid shows, but we played a bunch of clubs. There might be 30-50 people in one room, but those people really dug it. So, we kept coming back, and it kept growing and growing. And you're right, that was really the beginning of that era. There was such a synergy with all of these bands. That really lasted into the early 2000s.
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We were riding that wave and didn't even realize it at the time. It was a great time to be on the road, and it feel like a special thing. We always wondered why there weren't more bands out there doing what we were. There were some older bands, such as Dirty Dozen Brass Brand, which certainly had been doing it. It was a great time for us to be interested in what we were naturally interested in. We loved all of this old school funk, soul, R&B, and rock.
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We were in New Orleans, and we love The Meters. They have the same instrumentation as us. Those groove-based rhythm sections that were so good. That's why i was so taken with Medeski. We just wanted to hone those skills. A rhythm section that can really groove. Everything feels good and you develop it from there.
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Absolutely. Whether you knew it or not at that time, Galactic really did help pave the way for what would become such a huge scene. It's damn near impossible to keep up with all of the new acts emerging these days. Being a teenager in the early 2000s, I have such vivid memories of the era of music.
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I remember stumbling across the Coolin' Off back in middle school. I can't tell you how many times I listened to songs like "Something Wrong With This Picture" and "Church" back then. Definitely an interesting era for music with what was going on with modern rock at the time. The grassroots movement that Galactic was a part of really became the modern jam era.
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Rich: Yes, you're absolutely right.
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I know there has been plenty of evolution within the band over the years. While y'all are predominantly instrumental, House Man (Theryl DeClouet) added a major element with the vocal material. Later on, you've had so many special guests join the band for various projects. Who have you guys been working with on vocals lately?
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Rich: That's kind of been our mode ever since House Man had to stop touring. For a minute, we searched around for another vocalist. Ultimately, we decided that we weren't going to "replace" House Man. We felt that we should focus on collaborations. We knew so many talented singers. When it comes to making records, you can do anything. Why not collaborate with the best people who were interested?
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While we had that strong instrumental side, there wasn't going to be a new "lead singer" of Galactic. For a band like us, this overgrown rhythm section, as I like to say sometimes, it kind of made sense. Then when you go out on tour, you want to present these songs, and you want to have someone who can do them justice. It's a tall order when you've recorded songs with Irma Thomas, Cyrille Neville, Allen Toussaint, and Jon Boutee.
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These are the kind of vocal artists we were collaborating with. And with that, you need a pretty heavy hitting singer to come out and help you represent your history and material. We've had tremendous luck to find the right person at the right time. Some of them have joined us on the road for a year, two years, or whatever it may be.
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Right now, we're in as great of place as we've ever been with Jelly singing. We call her Jelly, but her name is Angelica "Jelly" Joseph. She's just amazing. Her presence is amazing. Her take on all of the songs is fantastic, while uniquely hers. They live up to the original while bringing something different, which is kind of what you always want.
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You want the music to stay fresh and get reinjected with something that feels fresh. Not regurgitating your old records. She totally brings that. We also have Eric Gordon playing trumpet with us, who is equally amazing. He rounds out our horn section. We get to call it a horn section since we have two players (laughs). We already had Ben (Ellman), who also amazing playing tenor, bari, and harmonica. Ben and Eric together are just perfect.
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We're really just having fun. Being on the road again is great. We took a forced hiatus like everyone else, and I think that makes you come back with fresh eyes and ears. A new appreciation for being able to get out and do this for a living.
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I'm sure it comes with a rejuvenated sense of appreciation for it all.
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Rich: It definitely does. As we're talking about these festivals coming up, it's just great to have a real summer festival season again. We just had the first Jazz Fest since 2019, and it felt so good to be out there. You could feel the joy around the whole event. It had been three years without the festival. It just feels so good to be back playing.
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Didn't you guys go on right before The Who at Jazz Fest?
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Rich: Yeah, that was a fantastic slot. We sure did. You can't beat that. It was an incredible day.
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You really won't find a better spot than that. I didn't make it to Jazz Fest, but I was at SweetWater 420 Fest that last weekend of April. Atlanta also had another festival called Shaky Knees that weekend, and they were both sold out. I hadn't been to anything with that many people in several years, and it was incredible to know that both of these major festivals in Atlanta were sold out. People can finally feel safe doing these things again.
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Rich: Absolutely. It feels so great to be back to this point. Like Jelly always likes to say on stage, "We back, baby!" She means all of us, not just the band!
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Well before we wrap this up, I wanted to talk a little bit about Mountain Music Festival on June 2-4 in West Vrigina. Galactic is the headliner on Friday. Starting right at midnight, which feels so appropriate for y'all.
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Rich: (laughs) They still give us those late spots. We can still do it!
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Oh, I have no doubt about that. It's been way too long since I've seen Galactic at all, much less in that perfect time slot. Can you share a little bit about what the West Virginia can expect that night, and how you're approaching the rest of the festival season in general?
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Rich: Yeah, i really like those late-night sets. If you have a shorter set during the day, you're pretty strategic about it. You have to hit all of these certain notes within an hour or maybe hour and fifteen. The late ones sometimes prove to be the most fun. I think the attitude is a little different, and it takes us into interesting directions.
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Sometimes you're just the right combination of up but also laid back from the end of the day. It's always fun to play outside at night. Playing outside at night in West Virginia sounds nice to me. We love New Orleans, but we do look forward to summer festivals. Getting out of town and going anywhere sounds a little more comfortable (laughs).
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Could not agree more. I'm in Birmingham, Alabama and I was looking at the weather forecast yesterday. Anything in the 70s sounds like a dream. We're already cracking well into the 90s here.
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Rich: Oh yeah. We're all for it. You know what a Gulf Coast summer is like.
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We're off to another scorching summer. That's for sure. I can't tell you how much I appreciate your time today. I've been a Galactic fan for what feels like majority of my life now. I haven't been able to see y'all near as many times as I would like. It's been way too long since the last one, and I know that I'm not the only one who is stoked for Friday night at Mountain Music Fest.
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Rich: Oh definitely. We're really excited about it. We're primed for this festival season. And like Jelly says, "We're back, baby!"
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Love to hear it. Well thanks again, Rich. Hope to have a chance to say "hello" up on the mountian.
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Rich: Please do, Jordan. Thanks so much for doing this!
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The Iceman Special Confirms Phish After Parties in Orange Beach May 20, 2022 16:42

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Photo by Kimberly Braddy
Words by Jordan Kirkland: Live & Listen
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If you're heading down to Orange Beach for Phish's upcoming three-night run at The Wharf Amphitheater, we've got some vital information for you. The funkadelic, "dirty funk" four-piece known as The Iceman Special has just confirmed late night shows on Friday, May 26th and Saturday, May 27th at The Undertow. The venue is just a quick two-mile drive down Canal Road; making for a super easy option for those looking to venture into the night. Both shows will operate on a first come, first served basis. 
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This year has been has been full of major highlights for these guys. This all started with a wildly successful show at New Orleans' Joy Theatre featuring The Iceman Special and Break Science.  If you spent time in New Orleans for this year's Jazz Fest, you may have even caught them at Live For Live Music's Daze Between Festival at Fauborg Brewery. They are now fresh off of an exciting weekend in Texas and Louisiana, which included stops at Last Concert Cafe (Houston), Parish (Austin), and Chelsea's Live (Baton Rouge).
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"These Big Easy Bombardiers pack an ample amount of audio artillery in their set, and you better believe that the funkadelic swamp will rain down heavily when they plug in. The Iceman Special is a four-piece outfit transplanted from the swamps of Louisiana to the big city of New Orleans. They combine a sound of dirty funk and delicate groove with elements of disco and rock and roll to create danceable jams with plenty of edge and substance. Screeching yet smooth guitars, wandering yet punchy bass lines, electronic synth samples, driving drum beats and powerful vocals form one a kind soundscapes."
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The one week countdown to Memorial Day weekend is officially underway. Chances are that most of your work obligations aren't kicking back in until Tuesday, May 31st. So go ahead and let your Phish crew know that you've got the post-show shenanigans covered. It's all going down at The Undertow with The Iceman Special on Friday and Saturday night. 
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The Road to Mountain Music Fest: George Norrell of The Talismen May 20, 2022 13:12

Photo by Nicholas Jude Photography

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As countless music fans prepare for this year's Mountain Music Festival at ACE River Resort in Oak Hill (WV) on June 2-4 (2022), we're sitting down with a number of this year's performers to get a better feel for what fans can expect this year. This festival was established in 2014 and has proceeded to solidify itself as one of the most anticipated jam-focused events of the year. While MMF features major national acts such as Galactic, Cory Wong, Big Something, & Spafford, one of the Southeast's hottest up-and-coming acts, The Talismen, will close out The Lake Stage at 4:00 PM on Saturday, February 4th.
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Since their formation as teenagers in 2015, The Talismen have evolved into a four-piece, progressive rock powerhouse. Hailing from Montgomery, Alabama, their days as popular college band have come to an end, and they're hitting the road as hard as anyone in 2022. Fresh off a recent run with Papadosio, this band is poised to continue building momentum and solidifying their place in the jam/festival circuit. 
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Earlier this week, we had a chance to sit down with George Norrell (drums) just ahead of Mountain Music Fest. As you will read below, George and his bandmates have an incredibly unique bond as lifelong friends. Their musical talent and professional work ethic knows no boundaries, and the ceiling is incredibly high for this group. Check out the full conversation below and make sure to follow the band on Instagram and Facebook to stay in tune with all of the latest happenings. 
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Alright George...This has clearly been a big year thus far for The Talismen. The band has been playing just about every weekend, with a few more extended runs mixed in the schedule. Tell me about how things have been going for you guys thus far.
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George: It's been really great to have these opportunities to do what we love on a regular basis. We sure hope that things do not slow down anytime soon. It's been especially great to hit so many new markets in the past few months. Going into a new city and playing a venue for the first time can be a bit of a toss up, but the reception continues to be really positive. That's something we are super grateful for. I think all of us are just focused on carrying that momentum into the summer.
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We were right at that point of taking the next step as a professional, touring act when the pandemic hit in early 2020. Our EP, Extra Vehicular Activity, was weeks away from the release date, and things were really moving in the right direction. We were able to get in the studio with Kevin Scott and Jason Kingsland, who recorded and produced the EP. Everything seemed to be falling in place for a big year, and we all know the rest of that story.
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That time allowed us to really get in the practice room, focus on our original song-writing, and continue building our chemistry. Things seem to be getting back to normal this year, and we're just stoked to have the opportunities in front of us. We've had a busy spring, and our summer calendar looks promising. Definitely excited to share more on that here soon.
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I bet. I know that y'all just wrapped up a run of shows with Papadosio. That had to be an exciting opportunity for you guys. How did those shows go?
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George: Yeah, it was great to get to meet and share the stage with those guys. They've already seen so much success, and it was pretty special to play a few shows with them. Anytime we have the opportunity to get to learn from a band of that caliber is invaluable. Definitely hope to cross paths with them again at some point.
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I'm sure that made for some great exposure. When you look back at the year thus far, are there any other highlights that stick out?
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George: We've had a bunch of really great shows. Earlier this year, we played our first true theatre gig with Big Something in Knoxville. We really look up to those guys and appreciate the opportunity to share the stage with them. We had another great night at The One Stop in Asheville a few weeks ago. That's a place that we really love playing. We've had a lot on fun the road so far, and we're going to keep hitting it hard.
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That's great to hear. Mountain Music Festival is coming up in just a few weeks. This takes the band all the way up to West Virigina. I'd imagine the excitement level is mighty high for this one.
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George: Absolutely. You look at the lineup and see Galactic, Big Something, Spafford, Cory Wong, and the list goes on. This is exactly the type of lineup and atmosphere that we want to be involved with. We just finished up a few shows in Virginia, and we couldn't be more excited to see what West Virginia has to offer. 
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For those in attendance who will be seeing The Talismen for the first time, what would you say that they can expect from this performance?
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George: Mostly original music that is based is progressive rock, with elements of jam, funk, jazz, and a healthy dose of improv. We definitely strive to provide a totally unique show every time we step on foot on stage. I can tell you that our level of excitement for Mountain Music Fest is through the roof. Those who catch our set will definitely be able to feel that energy. We're hoping to maybe even have a special guest or two join us for a tune. We'll have to wait and see how that plays out. 
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Love to hear all of that. I know that the band has released a few new singles in recent months. What can you tell me about these latest tracks?
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George: We decided to take on an exciting project at the beginning of this year. We converted our guitarist Jack Bennett's basement into an incredible rehearsal space and recording studio. We've already spent countless hours practicing and down there, so it made since to take on the challenge of recording and producing our own music.
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Thus far, we've released two singles: "Savage Road" and "Lockwood." These are two originals that have been in the live rotation for a few years now. Bringing them to life in the studio was such a special process. Our friend Casey Cranford from Big Something even stopped by to lay down some EWI on "Lockwood." We're shooting to have a total of 6 new singles by the end of the year. Stay tuned, because we're currently working on the next one. 
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That's exciting news. I know your fans will be excited to hear there is more new music coming soon. Before we wrap this up, what else is the horizon for The Talismen in 2022?
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George: Well, we're dropping our summer tour dates early next week. In terms of festivals, we're stoked to be playing CBDB’s Deebs Day Festival, Kampout at Cave Springs, Alex City Jazz Fest this summer. We have our first headlining gig at Druid City Music Hall in Tuscaloosa. We’re hitting several more new markets. I know we have at least one more festival to announce, and we're hoping to add a few more along the way. It's going to be an exciting year. That's for sure. 
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I'm glad to hear it and hope everything continues moving in the right direction. Thanks for taking a few minutes to chat today, George. Looking forward to the set at MMF.
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George: Absolutely. Thank you sir!
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The Road to Mountain Music Fest: Casey Cranford & Jesse Hensley of Big Something May 17, 2022 20:53

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Interview by Jordan Kirkland: Live & Listen
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As countless music fans prepare for this year's Mountain Music Festival at ACE River Resort in Oak Hill (WV) on June 2-4 (2022), we're sitting down with a number of this year's performers to get a better feel for what fans can expect this year. This festival was established in 2014 and has proceeded to solidify itself as one of the most anticipated jam-focused events of the year. As the festival has continued to evolve and grow over the years, there's been one clear constant. That's the powerhouse known as Big Something.
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They're back for an eighth consecutive year, and this time, they're headlining Saturday night. I was lucky enough to discover this band nearly ten years ago (Thanks again, Sirius JamOn), and it's been an incredibly fun ride watching them grow. Festival season is already in full swing for these guys, and they've only scratched the surface.
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Earlier this week, I had a chance to sit down with Jesse Hensley (guitar) and Casey Cranford (EWI/saxophone) in preparation for MMF. They've been back to the grind, touring across the country, and simply loving that they're allowed to perform on a regular basis. You won't find a more genuine, hard-working group of guys, and they've most definitely earned every bit of their continued success. 
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Hope both of you guys are doing well today. I thought we'd get started by touching on how this year is going for the band. You've been hitting the road hard, as usual. Festival season has officially begun. Let's walk through some of the highlights thus far. 
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Jesse: Yeah man. It's been a blast just getting back out there and seeing everyone at shows. People want music again. Well, we've all been wanting it, but we're all actually seeing it come back now. Getting back to live performances with live audiences has felt amazing! 
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Festival season has been crazy good. 420 Fest was killer. A lot of cool stuff coming up too. Beaufort Music Festival coming up this weekend. Summer Camp and Revival Fest are around the corner. But yeah, I think everyone has been really anxious to get back out and get going again. Super pumped about it.
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Right on. How's 2022 been treating you, Casey? 
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Casey: I think the highlight has just been getting back out on the road. We recently played Austin, TX with Papadosio and some other really cool bands. We've been down to The Spirit of Suwannee a few times, which is always great. Working on our new music has been really cool too.
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I'm glad you mentioned that. Somehow, it's been a few years since the last album release. I know that the band has debuted several new originals over the past year. "Bob and Weave" has become a real favorite of mine. Can you tell me a little bit more about where you guys are with new material?
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Casey: I think we have debuted two new ones, "Chemistry" and "Algorithm." I'd say we have maybe 8 or 10 more.
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Jesse: Yeah, 8 or 10 more. I think we're still kind of hashing out parts as we go. It's been really cool. We've had a lot of production practices getting ready for festival season. That's been super helpful to get together, write, and actually play on a stage. We've set up in a few venues, gone through our entire rig, made sure the cables are good, and everyone is happy with their in-ear mixes.
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In the process, we've been knocking away at some of these new songs we've been working on. It's been super helpful for that. We're pumped to get back in the studio and get cracking on some of this stuff. I think there are some plans for recording sessions later in the year. 
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Casey: Yeah, hopefully we will have some progress. It's hard to say when, at this point. We're really looking forward to that though. 
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Oh, I'm sure. I know there is a lot that can happen between now and next month, much less now and the end of the summer. Having that new material in pipeline has to be a nice feeling. Testing the audience's reaction as these songs are debuted live will be plenty of fun. 
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Jesse: Yeah absolutely. It's always nice to have some new things in our pockets and ready to throw out at the crowd. 
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In just a few weeks, we've got Mountain Music Fest coming up. Very familiar territory for Big Something. It seems like y'all have become such a staple of the festival. You've even played the resort as a one-off show outside of the festival weekend. How has this relationship been? What has the Mountain Music Fest experience been like?
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Jesse: West Virginia has almost become a second home for us. Several years back, we played in so many different towns and venues across the state working our way up through the festival circuit. It's been awesome to get to meet and hang out with all of those people. We've built some great relationships there. 
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It's always a staple, man. Mountain Music Fest is such a blast every year. There's always a bunch of crazy things happening on site (Laughs). The lineup and the bands are always killer but they also have tons of daytime activities to enjoy like whitewater rafting, mountain biking, swimming at the waterpark, ziplining or just taking a beautiful hike. It really packs the biggest punch, in terms of the time you spend at the festival, and things you can experience while you're there.
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I remember the year I finally got to see The Wood Brothers for the first time. I'd been listening to them for years. There is always that band who really speaks to you every year. It's just been awesome to have that experience every year and keep coming back. It's been really fulfilling.
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Casey: I just feel honored that they keep having us back. I believe they have had us every year. They're a great team over there. The venue is beautiful. So many things to do outside of the music, like rafting and swimming. I think there may be a rope course too. It's always been a super welcoming experience. The crowd is always super hyped for us, which we really appreciate. We're just happy to be returning. I haven't had a chance to see Galactic in a while.
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Jesse: Yeah, I'm pretty pumped about Galactic too!
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Very excited about Galactic. Somehow, I've only managed to see Galactic a few times, and they've all been during the day. I know they are known for being one of the best late night bands around. 
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Jesse: Oh yeah. It's gonna be a party.
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Casey: They are from New Orleans....
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Watch Big Something perform "Bob & Weave" at Mountain Music Fest [2022]
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Looking at the lineup for Friday, you have Galactic at 10PM. Then there is the TAUK Paper Scissors following at midnight.
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Jesse: I'm really pumped about that too. A lot of cool stuff is likely to happen during that set.
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Absolutely. That's a ridiculous group of players. 
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Casey: Yeah man. Karl Denson is one of them.
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Jesse: Is this the one that Antwaun Stanley is a part of?
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That's correct. They've also got Jen Hartswick, James Casey, Jason Hann, Clyde Lawrence... So many exciting names. I'm super excited to see how that whole situation unfolds. 
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Jesse: That is for sure. 
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I'm sure it's even extra exciting being the final headlining act this year. I believe there is a late-night set on another stage, but Big Something is essentially closing out the whole festival. You've got Doom Flamingo and Cory Wong leading up to your set. What a night that will be. 
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Jesse: Absolutely man. We're totally pumped.
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Well fellas, aside from everything we've covered thus far, what else is happening in the world of Big Something. Anything in particular that we should touch on before we wrap this thing up?
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Jesse: You got anything, Casey? (laughs)
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Casey: Well, we've got Summer Camp coming up. We've got Rooster Walk coming up, which is up closer to Mountain Music Festival. In addition, we're also moving our own festival, The Big What?, to Pop's Farm in Martinsville, VA. 
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Shit, I nearly forgot to even ask about The Big What?. What are the dates again?
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Jesse: It's going down on August 4th-6th. Just a few months away. 
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Casey: That's right. It will be a fun three nights of music. 
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Jesse: And Pop's Farm is in the southern part of Virginia. It's a beautiful place, man. The setup and the infrastructure are just top touch. Pretty pumped about having all of that at our disposal this year. I also wanted to mention that The Ride Festival is coming up in July. We're always stoked to get back out to Telluride. That's one of our favorites, for sure. 
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That's right. And that's another one that y'all seem to be playing every year, right?
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Jesse: Yeah, man. It's been awesome to be able to make that trip just about every year now. 
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I can imagine. The view from that stage looks about as beautiful as anything you could imagine.
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Jesse: It's pretty breathtaking, for sure. 
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That's right. Well, just one more thing before we wrap this up. Jumping back to The Big What? for a minute. Over the years, whether it's The Big What?, The Werk Out, DomeFest, or even Summer Camp & Hulaween, that concept of a band initiating and curating its own festival seems to be invaluable. How important would you say that this festival has been for Big Something?
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Jesse: I think it has been huge. In past years, It's really just felt like a BIG family reunion with bands that we get to play shows with throughout the year. We might play all over the country with a group, but sometimes we never get the opportunity to bring them back to our neck of the woods. It's really nice to be able to share that music and those personalities with our homies at home. 
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To me, that's the most fun part of it all. Getting to turn people on to new artists and seeing their reactions to the music that has inspired you. That's definitely one of my favorite things about the festival.
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Casey: Yeah man. That's it right there. Jesse nailed it. 
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I'd love to find a way to make the trek up there this year. I'm always super jealous when I see the footage and setlists rolling out that weekend. 
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Jesse: Come on with it dude!
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Casey: We've gotta get you up there man. 
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I'm gonna do everything that I can. That would be a highlight of the year. No doubt about that.
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Jesse: Well, we'd sure love to have ya. 
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Absolutely man. Well, once again, thanks for your time today guys. Always a pleasure getting to catch up with y'all. Can't wait to kick it here in a few weeks in West Viriginia.
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Jesse: Can't wait man. We will see you there!
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Casey: Thanks so much, Jordan!
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Sam Holt Band Pays Tribute to Michael Houser & Todd Nance in Birmingham May 16, 2022 13:14

Words by Monica Dean

Photos by Craig Baird: Home Team Photography

Sam Holt Band closed out a special three night run on Saturday night.  They band stepped on stage as the sun was beautifully setting at Avondale Brewing Company in Birmingham, Alabama. A perfect background for a celebration of the lives of founding members of Widespread Panic: guitarist Michael Houser, who succumbed to pancreatic cancer in 2002 and drummer Todd Nance who passed away suddenly in 2020.

Sam Holt, who was Houser's guitar tech, paid tribute to his mentor and friend on Houser’s rig, sharing the quintessential Houser-style lingering leads with the crowd. Holt was joined onstage by Adam Grace (keys), Ross Parker (bass guitar), and Jeremy Ward (drums).

The first set started with a tribute to Houser with his song, “Can't Change The World Past."  Two Widespread Panic instrumentals “A of D” and “E on a G” followed, before flowing seamlessly into “Sandbox”, a Houser tune not played by Widespread Panic since the guitarist's death. A lingering transition into a “Diner” jam leaves the crowd yearning to hear the rest, but Holt slips into “Counting Train Cars” before coming back to the Outformation catalog for “90”. A jubilant “Walkin'” is next with a jam into “Gunner,” which ultimately led into a heartfelt “Gimme.” This tune included the haunting lyrics “give me a hand here, Michael.” The set ends with “Ain't Life Grand,” a song Houser wrote reminding us to celebrate the mundane of everyday life, and it sure felt good.

After a quick, light rain, the second set begins with the reminder “where there is love there is hope” with a pristine “This Part of Town.”  Houser’s song named and written for his son, “Waker” is next. You couldn't ask for a more beautiful tribute of Houser’s own. Holt then pays his respects to Bloodkin with a cover of “Mercy Train to Bogart,” before diving into a “Hatfield” jam. Holt digs deep for the seldom played “Burned Faceless,” followed by two instrumentals, “Happy” and “L.A.”  Keyboardist Adam Grace jams into “You Should be Glad” with beautiful harmonies by drummer Jeremy Ward. “This is for all of you,” Holt announces before leading the way into “Airplane.”  A crowd rousing favorite, “Porch Song” would then close out the second set.

Holt points to the back of his Home Team shirt which says “In Todd We Trust” for an encore tribute to Nance. These are the first Remembering Mikey shows since Nance’s death, and Sam Holt Band decided to close the show in his memory with a pair of Nance’s own songs: “Cynic Clinic” and “You’ll Be Fine.” Holt & Co. played this show with love, and the result was a heartfelt celebration of Houser and Nance that the Birmingham faithful was so clearly honored to experience.

Setlist: Sam Holt Band - Remembering Mikey & Todd: Saturday, May 14th [2022]

Set 1: Can’t Change the Past, A of D > E on a G > Sandbox>Diner Jam > Counting Train Cars, 90, Walkin' > Gunner, Gimmie, Ain’t Life Grand

Set 2: This Part of Town > Waker > Mercy Train to Bogart > Hatfield Jam, Burned Faceless, Happy > LA, You Should be Glad, Airplane > Porch Song

Encore: Cynic Clinic, You’ll Be Fine

Watch Sam Holt Band performing "Porch Song" at Avondale Brewing Company here:

 

 


The Road to Mountain Music Fest: TAUK's Matt Jalbert Discusses TAUK Paper Scissors May 11, 2022 16:08

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Photo by Dani Barbieri
Interview by Jordan Kirkland: Live & Listen
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As countless music fans prepare for this year's Mountain Music Festival at ACE River Resort in Oak Hill (WV) on June 2-4 (2022), we're sitting down with a number of this year's performers to get a better feel for what fans can expect this year. This festival was established in 2014 and has proceeded to solidify itself as one of the most anticipated jam-focused events of the year. While there are numerous reasons why we're excited about this year's festivities, the "super jam" known as TAUK Paper Scissors is certainly at the top of the list. 
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Mountain Music Festival announced that the four-piece rock/fusion act known as TAUK would be calling on a star studded cast for this one-of-a-kind set just a few months ago. Special guests will include Jennifer Hartswick and James Casey (Trey Anastasio Band), Antwaun Stanley (Vulfpeck), Jason Hann (The String Cheese Incident), Clyde Lawrence (Lawrence), Jordan Cohen (Lawrence), and Kanika Moore (Doom Flamingo).
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Earlier this week, we caught up with TAUK's Matt Jalbert (guitar) in an effort to learn more about the band's latest happenings, as well as some additional insight on TAUK Paper Scissors. Check out the full interview below and make sure to head over to Mountain Music Festival's official website for all of the latest details.
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Great to speak with you for a few today, Matt. I know it's been an exciting year for TAUK thus far. You've been to Iceland with Umphrey's McGee. Played shows with Pigeons Playing Ping Pong & lespecial. TAUKing McGee at 420 Fest. How's everything played out thus far?
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Matt: Yeah man. All of those bands are friends of ours. We've known the Pigeons guys for a while. We played DomeFest back in the day. Hit if off with them immediately. Playing their festival was a huge help for us to get down to that part of the country. We're always appreciative of them for that. Opened up some doors for us.It's been great to get back out and play some shows. We're doing a bunch of sit-ins. Playing a bunch of songs together, which is always super fun. So yeah, those shows were really great and high energy.
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The set with Umphrey's in Atlanta was really cool, because we just went to Iceland with them. That was postponed from early 2020, when the pandemic was really starting. Needless to say, everyone was bummed when that got cancelled, but we still made it happen. We just did those shows a little while ago. We did a TAUKing McGee set in Iceland. We did a late-night set and a TAUKing McGee set while we were there.
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It was so much fun. It felt like a huge celebration amongst everyone who was there. So when the lineup at 420 Fest was shifting around, Umphrey's hit us up last minute to see if we wanted to do it again down there. Anytime we get to play with those guys is great. We're actually doing it again at Summer Camp.
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And yeah, we're fresh off a few nights with lespecial. We played two nights in Buffalo with them. We did our first shows together in Philly earlier this year, and we've loved what they've been doing for a while. Been trying to link up with those guys to do some shows together. We finally made that happen. Buffalo was amazing. The crowd was great. lespecial killed it. Good times all around. Just getting back out and playing music with our friends. It's been a lot of fun.
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Photo by Dave Vann
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That's so great to hear. I know how tough it's been on so many different levels over the past two years. It's great to see so much musical action happening thus far in 2022. It was brutal seeing things shut back down at the end of last year. I guess that was the Omicron variant?
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Matt: Yep, that was Omicron. We had to cancel our New Year's run in Charleston.
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That's right. Well, I love hearing that things are going so well. I'm sure it's been a challenge to keep the momentum going throughout at the last two years. I know we aren't out of the woods yet, but it seems like thus far, we're moving in the right direction.
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Matt: Yeah man. We're taking it as it comes. Everyone is still in that same ballpark. There are more shows happening. You'll still see some cancellations as someone tests postivie for COVID. I think everyone is on the same page at this point. If something has to be cancelled, it's a bummer. Luckily, it seems like it's happening less and less. It's really out of our control. Everyone's just trying to do what they can.
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Absolutely. I know that festival season is fast approaching. I guess it already started for TAUK at 420 Fest. Mountain Music Festival is right around the corner. I'm sure you're fired up about the TAUK Paper Scissors yet. You've assembled an incredible lineup with Antwaun Stanley, Clyde Lawrence, Jennifer Hartswick, and James Casey, to name a few. Without spoiling any surprises, what can you share about this upcoming performance?
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Matt: Yeah, absolutely. When we played Mountain Music Fest last year, that was our first show back from COVID. We were stoked to play, and you could just feel it in the air. The energy was just insane. Needless to say, our set was wild. So much fun. After that, the festival reached out to see if we could come back this year. They asked if we wanted to try something different. We were all for it and thought it was a fun idea.
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The idea was to not just to "TAUK & Friends" or "TAUK Superstars." Come up with something a little more unique. We started working on a list of names, playing with the band name, and TAUK Paper Scissors seemed to be the one that stuck. We're still working out how this is gonna operate, in terms of the "rock, paper, scissors" concept. We have some cool ideas though.
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In terms of the band, we started working on a list of people. Some we had played with previously, and others that we've been watching and really admire. We started putting out feelers to see who would be into it. You can see now what the band looks like, and we're stoked. Like you said: Antwuan, Clyde, Kanika, the horn players, Jason Hann from String Cheese. We're so stoked. The only issue we're running into is fitting all of the songs into the setlist. We're thinking about all of these cool opportunities with a band like this. We have a list going, and we're narrowing it down. It's going to be such a cool experience.
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Watch TAUK's official music video for "Make Your Move" here:
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I'm sure it is. When you look at that list of players, you have several from bands already on the lineup. You also have some heavy hitters coming over just to be a part of this performance. This is the staple "super jam" for this festival, if you will. I know there's already a lot of excitement surrounding it all.
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So, Chaos Companion is the latest studio release, right?
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Matt: Correct.
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Before we wrap this up, is there any other exciting news happening within TAUK that your fans should know about?
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Matt: We definitely have some exciting festival appearances coming up. Summer Camp & Peach Fest are two big ones. Festival season is definitely underway. In terms of new material, we wrote a ton during the pandemic. Not to give too much away, but people should definitely keep an eye out for a new release. Maybe even something that people won't be expecting. We have a lot to be excited about.
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That's fantastic news. I can't tell you how much I appreciate your time today, Matt. Thanks for chatting for a few, and I look forward to catching the TAUK Paper Scissors set in person next month.
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Matt: Thank so much, Jordan. Look forward to seeing you there as well!
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Photo by Matt Shotwell

Wilmington Widespread: A Celebration of The Ones Who Shaped Us May 10, 2022 12:56

Words by Erika Rasmussen: Rasmusic

Photos by Neil Peek

Like all true Southern gentlemen, Widespread Panic takes the time to pay homage to the great influences in their lives. During May 6-8 (Mother’s Day weekend) in Wilmington, NC, Panic created a foot-tapping, heart-warming, gut-wrenching tribute to some of their greatest influences: the literal mothers in our lives, the rough-and-ready character of the “Panic Mama”, and the musical influences in their careers. Most especially highlighted was their friend, mentor, and songwriting influence: the late, great Danny Hutchens. Sunday brought the emotional one-year anniversary of Danny’s passing. I was friends with Danny, and not only did I get to interview him, but we also collaborated on an article about his own late mother and the inspiration she provided for his song “American Country Ghosts” during her struggles with dementia. I consider Danny’s words that he so poignantly shared in that article as much a work of art as the song he composed. I share the same reverence for the musical influences that Widespread Panic works to continually expose us to and remind us of. I truly enjoy weekends like this past one, when I get a refresher of the playlists and pop culture that created their sound.

Panic launched an all-original set one on Friday with “Jack”, which hasn’t opened a show since 9/18/91! Song two, “Goodpeople”, kicked off the “mom” theme of the weekend with “The ones your mama warned you about”. Stay tuned for more of those references. The band then ebbed and flowed through “Pilgrims >”, “You Got Yours”, and “Pickin’ Up the Pieces >” like the Cape Fear River running behind their backs. In honor of Willie Mays’ birthday that day, the band obviously had to cover “One-Arm Steve” (“Well, say hey, Willie Mays, what's in your suitcase full of wonders?”) The return of the mom is seen in “Steven’s Cat >” during “Mama tried to protect my soul yes, she did bit by bit save me from sorrow”. “Bear’s Gone Fishin’ >” then rolled out with its supposedly scandalous song origin in New Orleans, reminding us of the band’s raucous roots, despite their sweet love of their mothers. Speaking of, “Love Tractor” prompts us that “Mom said that I'm alright…” and ended set one. Thanks, Mom.

Set two led with two Bloodkin songs: “Henry Parsons Died >”, into “Sleepy Monkey>”. Remember this lyric - “It' could be a déjà vu, Cognition coming true” for a couple songs, mmm-kay? “Diner >” cites the quintessential idea of a Panic Mama – “She's beautiful - natural.” We peacefully settle into “Cease Fire >” and then are taken into “Jamais Vu >”, which is the opposite of déjà vu. See what they did there? “Bass And Drums >” satisfied a primal urge to just converse with the rhythm, as always. “Tie Your Shoes >” carries the ageless lesson to “Love your girl, you’ve got to love your girl”. Take note, y’all. Perhaps one of the sweetest images of mothers is represented in “Papa’s Home >” with the line “Mom's holding sister in the chair, sharing stories and forgetting time.” The band’s friend and sometime lyricist, Jerry Joseph, is highlighted in “Climb to Safety” to end set two. 

The encore kicks off with the seemingly shelved “Flicker >”, which hasn’t been played since 8/31/18. The hauntingly beautiful “This Part of Town >” took us into “Travelin’ Light” by the formidable J.J. Cale, whose influence on the rock world cannot be overestimated.

Watch footage of "Diner" via whereshaynes on YouTube:

 

Saturday’s set one led with the always poetic “Surprise Valley >” and the geographically appropriate “Mother talkin' the waters; Spirit moves in all things...” Easily one of my favorite musical influences, and perhaps yours, too, is David Byrne. When the band went into Byrne’s “City of Dreams >” before diving back into “Surprise Valley >”, I was as pleased as ever. “Rock” and “Heroes” then took us into “Airplane >” and the trademark oath of love, “Got me a pilot, she's going my way; If she's got wings, if she's got wings.” As they so often do, Panic went from “Airplane >” into “Take-Off Jam >” (teehee). Coming back ‘round to their great influences, we heard “Rebirtha >”, which once debuted as an instrumental in ’93 with "Apologies to George Porter" (of the Rebirth Brass Band). It is our great fortune that Widespread, and JoJo Hermann especially, have such a love of New Orleans music that shows in their work and that we get to boogie to. There was an interesting “Not Fade Away” tease after “Rebirtha” for the 76th birthday of Grateful Dead member, Bill Kreutzmann. Our musical influences then swing over the Atlantic to everyone’s favorite Irish rabble-rouser, Van Morrison, and “Send Your Mind”. Some technical or vocal issues popped up during “Blackout Blues” but the band ended set one strong, nevertheless. 

We crashed into set two of the night like a wave, starting with the Vic Chesnutt pair of “Protein Drink >” and “Sewing Machine”. Even Vic is makin’ Mama references – “Mama makes a dress on the sewing machine…” As is required by a coastal setting like Live Oak Bank Pavilion, they covered “Vacation >” and then “Disco >” and then a freakin’ cross-country roadtrip of a “Drivin’ Song >”. The tune bookended “Ain’t No Use >” (last played 8/31/19 and originated by New Orleans’ The Meters), “Saint Ex >”, J.J. Cale’s “Ride Me High >” (with “Sewing Machine” reprise), “Zambi Jam >”, back into “Ride Me High >”, and then back to “Drivin’ Song >”. Whew. It makes me tired just typing that set out because it spun us around and shook us up, for sure. “Space Wrangler” ended set two as sweetly as ever. Skål, as my Norwegian family would say (that’s “skol”, to y’all). 

The encore began with “Sometimes >”, by Ed Crawford of fIREHOSE. This band is of the Camper van Beethoven scene and that in itself just warms my heart, much less the line: “But now April's turning to May.” The closer of “Action Man” brought up an interesting mom reference – “Willie said ‘he was the mostest horse’; Mahubah, Fair Play, desert mama's boy.” I just learned in researching this article that Fair Play was Man o’ War’s mother (dam) and Mahubah was his father (sire). The more you know…

Sunday can be summed up in one word: cold. But we loyal Spreadheads filed into the venue wearing everything from Patagonia to hotel robes to warm up. JB’s greeting of “We can play, we can dance, we can snuggle up" added a lightheartedness to the weather as the sun started to set and the band began to play. “Little Kin” brought the ever-loveable “He's got his mamma's eyes, He's got his daddy's younger hands” in honor of Mother’s Day that day. “Ain’t Life Grand” went into “Greta >” and the always-amazing chorus “Mother Nature's come to arms, She's in a fighting mood. Greta's got a gun, This ain't no flowerchild.” This aptly depicts not only the band’s friend, Greta, but also once again brings up that Panic Mama ideal – a tough hippie that you don’t mess with, despite her sweet exterior. “Radio Child” bounced along into “Aunt Avis >” by the beloved wordsmith, Vic Chesnutt, who is again recalling his mom – “Help me mama, for I have grinned; Save me daddy from where I'm goin'.” Perhaps to remind us not to gripe about the cold so much, we were then served “You Should Be Glad”. “Hatfield >” was a timely choice with the story of how "’Charles always kept in touch’, swears his mother; ‘Always had the touch’". We were then treated to the wise words of New Orleans’ Allen Toussaint’s “On Your Way Down >” (last played 12/31/11). In what JB has jokingly referred to as "A tender little love song” the band busted out Bobby Rush’s “Bowlegged Woman” in the kind of love anthem that Panic couples could most easily identify with. We all love our mamas, but Bridgerton characters we ain’t. 

Watch footage of "Greta" via Loma Deren on YouTube:

 

Set two of Sunday kept everyone warmed up with an "I Trusted You" tease, which has only been played twice before. Riffing on this “song” of Andy Kaufman’s is one of the reasons why this band is so loveable. They aren’t afraid to make a joke or even be the punchline of their own joke. See the Halloween ’19 performance of this song by Schools and the Kaufman video, if you’re unfamiliar with the skit. The set then officially started with David Bromberg’s “Sharon >”. “Bust It Big” brought back the Panic Mama / Panic Daddy down & dirty love vibe with “She's my little salt lickin', agave guzzlin', worm eatin', lime suckin' girl, I love her so.” Next, we cannonballed into “PAYMH/That Thang >” and Robert Johnson’s “Stop Breakin’ Down”. It should go without saying that Robert Johnson is an influence on anyone and everyone who ever played the blues or rock. He, too, was a sucker for a pretty lil’ mama: “Every time I'm walkin', Down the streets. Some pretty mama start breakin', Down with me.” “Sundown Betty” then took us into another couple of New Orleans references in “Gradle >” (“A blind New Orleans painter man, Doesn't get many straight lines”) and “Fishwater >” (“Drink more fishwater there, Than any whale's mama ever seen. " JB has said this is a tune about “just excess and the nature of New Orleans".) For only the second time ever, the band went into “Dear Prudence” by Paul McCartney and John Lennon and ended the set with “Porch Song”. 

To aptly wrap-up the Mother’s Day weekend dedicated to their lost friend, Danny Hutchens, the encore started with Bloodkin’s “Trashy” and a line that summed up Danny, the band, and many of us so well – “Wild eyed love and getting high and trucks and cars and my guitars; That’s my recipe for life so far.” In what could not be a more perfect closer, the band played George Clinton’s “Red Hot Mama”. Did you know that George Clinton is from good old Kannapolis, NC? Thanks for bringing it all back to the Old North State, fellas. 

At the end of the weekend, I was left with a feeling of overwhelming gratitude. I’m grateful that I still am lucky enough to have my mom around, that I’m the mom of two amazing little girls, that I have an extended Panic family who always surprise and delight me on tour, that I have had the chance to see this band for the past 27 years who has introduced me to music and experiences I never would’ve had otherwise, and mostly I’m grateful to have met amazing people like Danny Hutchens. I’m so very grateful to have heard his music, read his words, laughed at his jokes, played with his beloved pets, and just generally know the man. Thank you, Danny, for the mother of all songbooks and the colorful stories that you’ve left behind. You are greatly missed but your legacy lives on in your own children and your musical contribution to the world. 

Thanks to Steven Ziegler, Bennett Schwartz, Curtis George, PanicStream, and Brown Cat for their tapings, resources, and support.  


Jam Cruise Reveals Massive Lineup For 19th Year In 2023 May 4, 2022 15:26

Photo by Jesse Faatz Photography

Press Release via Cloud 9 Adventures

Delray Beach, FL – Today, Jam Cruise announces its highly anticipated artist lineup and complete event details for the 19th edition of the beloved music cruise. This concert vacation at sea brings an eclectic community of first-time performers, Jam Cruise veterans, super-groups and master guests onboard an intimate cruise across the Caribbean. The complete lineup is included below.
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This year Jam Cruise will feature six nights of fun with an itinerary including stops in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic and two days at private island Ocean Cay in the Bahamas. Jam Cruise returns to Miami on February 12th after a full sailing of music, activities, exploration, beachside fun, and more.
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The 2023 event returns to the MSC Divina, a luxurious cruise ship that maintains intimacy and innovation. Fans can expect an array of onboard programs specially curated for the Jam Cruise community. Unique offerings such as Masters Camp at Sea classes led by renowned musicians and other artist-hosted activities break down the barrier between artist and fan. Cruiser favorites Brews at Sea and Chefs at Sea will return, showcasing a variety of breweries and guest chefs from around the country. Wellness at Sea provides an opportunity for cruisers to engage in daily yoga, zen workshops, and mindfulness classes led by like-minded practitioners while on vacation. 
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Jam Cruisers can explore eight unique stages as organizers transform the cruise ship into the ultimate music venue. Featuring the top acts in the live music scene performing on the Pool Deck Main Stage, the stunning 1500-seat Pantheon Theater, cherished late-night Black and White Jam Room, collaborative Jazz Lounge, and crystal Atrium, with more to explore - this expansive yet intimate setting feels like home. In addition to nearly round the clock music, comfortable staterooms (including those in the ultra-luxe Yacht Club) and multiple dining options, the MSC Divina offers a variety of attractions and amenities for fans to enjoy. Jam Cruisers can take advantage of a full service spa, fitness center, impressive casino, pools, hot tubs, and gorgeous spots throughout the ship to take in the beautiful surroundings at every turn.
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Masters Camp at Sea passes are available as an add-on for fans who wish to participate in an immersive learning program while onboard. Cruisers can pursue their own musical mastery through discussions, jam sessions, and hands-on workshops with legendary musicians over the six nights. The complete Masters Camp at Sea lineup below is impressive in and of itself. 
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Charitable organization Positive Legacy remains an integral part of Jam Cruise, integrating music & service into the experience. Positive Legacy initiatives work to positively impact the environment, offset the carbon footprint of traveling, and support the local communities who welcome Jam Cruise to their shores. With an annual Day of Service while in port and onboard activities, Positive Legacy is able to raise funds to further their charity efforts in the surrounding areas.
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Those who reserved a spot during the pre-book period will be able to select a cabin starting May 9, 2022. Any remaining cabins will go on sale to the public at 11am ET on May 12, 2022.  
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Visit www.jamcruise.com for all of the details. 
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Jam Cruise 19 Artist Lineup:
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Umphrey's McGee
The Fearless Flyers
Oteil & Friends ft. Steve Kimock, Eric Krasno, Jason Crosby, Jennifer Hartswick, Johnny Kimock
The Word ft. John Medeski, Robert Randolph, Luther Dickinson, Cody Dickinson, Rayfield “RayRay” Holloman
Galactic ft. Anjelika ‘Jelly’ Joseph
Karl Denson's Tiny Universe
Lettuce
Cymande
George Porter Jr. & Dumpstaphunk perform The Meters*
Andy Frasco & The U.N.
Neal Francis
Trouble No More ft. Brandon “Taz” Niederauer, Daniel Donato, Dylan Niederauer, Jack Ryan, Nikki Glaspie, Lamar Williams Jr., Peter Levin, Roosevelt Collier 
The Bamboos
Fruition
The Lil Smokies
Mihali
phoffman
The New Deal
SunSquabi
Doom Flamingo
George Porter Jr. & Runnin' Pardners*
Dumpstaphunk*
Polyrhythmics
Honey Island Swamp Band
Karina Rykman
lespecial
Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio
Neighbor
Butcher Brown
Little Stranger*
Punkadelick*
Stranger Is Doomed*
Dogs In A Pile
Pixie & The Partygrass Boys
Dave Watts Super Jam*
Everyone Orchestra*
The Sweet Lillies*
DJ Brownie
DJ Airwolf
Yesmann
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Special Guests:
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The Horn Section
Dan Lebowitz
Mike Dillon
Skerik
Judith Hill
Sammi Garett
Tyree Woods
Masters Camp at Sea:
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Isaiah Sharkey
Nikki Glaspie
Reed Mathis
Peter Levin
Vaylor Trucks
John Medeski
George Porter Jr.
Adam Deitch
Robert Randolph
Roosevelt Collier
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(All Artists will play two shows, except those denoted with * will play one show.)
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About Jam Cruise:
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Jam Cruise has been delivering an unparalleled music experience for nearly two decades. Featuring the top acts in the live music scene, Jam Cruise revolutionized the fan experience by blending the community, spontaneity and good times of live music with the convenience, luxury and adventure of cruise travel. Jam Cruise is full of moments that music fans simply cannot get anywhere else. This intimate experience is what has fans continually coming back onboard since Jam Cruise’s inception in 2004.
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Jam Cruise 18 is brought to you by Cloud 9 Adventures, the industry leader in concert vacations on cruise ships and at all-inclusive resorts. Cloud 9 Adventures also produces Jam Cruise, Strings & Sol, Holidaze, Holy Ship! Wrecked, Panic en la Playa (feat. Widespread Panic), My Morning Jacket’s One Big Holiday, The Avett Brothers At The Beach, Zac Brown Band’s Castaway with Southern Ground, and Brandi Carlile’s Girls Just Wanna Weekend..
Cloud 9 Adventures - Changing the Live Music Experience, Changing the Way Fans Vacation.
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Check out the Jam Cruise 18 Official Recap Video from 2019 here:
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